High School Turnaround: A Case Study

High School Turnaround: A Case Study

Rebecca Stobaugh (Western Kentucky University, USA), Wanda G. Chandler (Western Kentucky University, USA) and Crystal White (Kentucky Department of Education, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1624-8.ch056
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Abstract

After implementing Response to Intervention (RTI), a high school in a rural Kentucky community made a dramatic turnaround within 2 years after establishing structures to support both teachers and students. The principal, special education director, other administrators, district personnel, school improvement specialists, teacher leaders, interventionists (i.e., a high school content area specialist), and school faculty implemented changes that were responsible for the turnaround. High expectations, a positive school culture, professional development, guided planning, student assessment, data analysis, research-based intervention programs, and a systems change approach are some of the contributions that led to widespread improvements at the school level and in individual student gains.
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Description of Site

During the timeframe in which the turnaround occurred, the case study high school was the only high school serving students in its county. The school was located in a rural area with a county population of approximately 16,000 community members. The school had around 900 students enrolled, and the ethnic diversity of the student population was as follows: 83% Caucasian, 13% African American, 1% Asian, 1% Hispanic, and 2% other ethnicities. Forty percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-cost lunches, and 13% were identified as having disabilities.

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