West Allis-West Milwaukee School District First to Adopt ''Success Highways'' Curriculum for High School Freshmen
|District Cites Strengthened Student-Teacher Relations, Increased Self-Efficacy as Benefits of Implementation|
“We were looking for ways to reach more students as part of the freshman transition program”
As part of its ongoing commitment to creating a strong, supportive community for its high school freshmen, West Allis-West Milwaukee School District chose "Success Highways," the innovative new curriculum from ScholarCentric, to enhance the student experience. Located a few miles southwest of Milwaukee, the district, which serves approximately 9,000 students, is the first in the country to purchase the "Success Highways" curriculum.
"We were looking for ways to reach more students as part of the freshman transition program," said Beth Erenberger, program support and assessment coordinator. "We wanted a curriculum with a user-friendly delivery model that would utilize the skills of our Pupil Services staff. With 'Success Highways,' we're really connecting the students to the adults in the schools."
More than 800 freshmen at Nathan Hale and Central High Schools have experienced the curriculum in a pilot program during the 2005-2006 school year, and administrators are looking forward to greater implementation next school year. The program is administered by the Pupil Services staff, comprising counselors and social workers who work closely with classroom teachers to implement the curriculum.
"Success Highways teaches skills all of our students need to have," said Kaleen Morkin, director of Pupil Services. "Even more beneficial is the delivery of the program as a means for the students to connect with their teachers. Students are going to perform better academically if they feel they're respected and cared about."
Steven Weigler, president and founder of ScholarCentric, said the emphasis on student-teacher relations is a cornerstone of the "Success Highways" curriculum. "It is exciting that West Allis-West Milwaukee has chosen "Success Highways" as a means to strengthen bonds between students and teachers," he said. "It's all part of our vision of a 'Ready to Learn Classroom' - a place where trust and mutual respect empower students to reach, grow and succeed. Strong relationships and goals formed during freshman year inform and energize a student's entire high school experience."
Based on more than 15 years of research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, "Success Highways" was developed by V. Scott Solberg, associate professor of educational psychology, who began with the thesis that students first have to become emotionally invested in learning before they can reach their potential. Launched in April 2006, the curriculum includes 15 45-minute lessons that fit easily into any core subject curriculum. "Success Highways" combines innovative one-day teacher training, a student assessment and an interactive curriculum that is keyed to all U.S. state standards. For more information, visit www.ScholarCentric.com.
ScholarCentric(TM) is a K-12 educational publishing company focused on helping students tackle a rigorous curriculum and succeed in school and life. The company's flagship product, "Success Highways," is an innovative, teacher-driven curriculum designed to put middle and high school students on the right track for academic success. With "Success Highways," students stay in school, score higher on achievement tests and prepare for future education. The research-based curriculum is aligned with state standards and was developed from the results of 15 years of research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a seven-year pilot in an urban school district. For more information, visit www.ScholarCentric.com.