What happens when you put new eyes on an old challenge? Sometimes, the steps that need to be taken to solve that challenge become very clear, very quickly.
The same thing happens in schools. The start of the school year is a time in which teachers are getting a “new look” at students, often meeting these young men and women for the first time and getting to know them in ways other teachers may have missed.
That makes the first month of school a key opportunity to identify students who may benefit from alternative pathways to graduation.
To do that, though, teachers need to know about the different paths available to students in their districts. This doesn’t mean they should be able to “send” a student on one of these pathways, but they should be empowered to identify students who might benefit from these programs to the people who can make those decisions.
How? With these three steps:
1. Provide information to every student-facing employee about the range of paths available to students. Clearly explained eligibility guidelines should be accessible to all teachers.
2. Create a direct line and straight-forward process that goes from teachers to the individual or individuals who are empowered to enroll students in alternative path programs.
3. Share alternative path success outcomes with student-facing employees to build social proof in your community that encourages teachers to recognize that not all students are best served in the traditional path — and that the act of helping students get onto an alternative path is not a sign of failure.