Program Model: The instructional and support model used in the youth literacy demonstration was one of high expectations and correspondingly high support. The classes were small, with 20 or fewer students. Students were expected to be on time and maintain a high attendance record. All classes were taught by an instructional team in an independent classroom apart from any other school. There was an instructor and instructional aide present at all times. A full-time counsellor provided individual support and taught workshops related to social and emotional development.
Instruction combined both traditional and innovative approaches. In general, teachers presented short lectures on academic and pre-academic subjects, used multimedia to introduce and reinforce key concepts, facilitated discussions on topics (often in small groups), and assisted students individually to improve both literacy and behavioural skills as well as learn academic subjects.
Staff invested heavily in a coordinated case management approach to planning group and individual instruction and support. Students spent a significant amount of time involved in arts activities and project-based learning.
The sum of this comprehensive, holistic approach to social, emotional and academic learning resulted in a highly effective intervention with significant positive results for most students. See the Research Report for more information on outcomes.
Taken together, qualitative and quantitative information yielded a rich picture of the students’ skills, offered insights in the circumstances of their lives, and provided the basis for developing student profiles that illustrate both the successes and struggles of individual students.
Click on the promising practices listed on the left for more information about the key strategies identified by the New School staff and project researchers that contributed to the program’s success.