OnTrack Greenville Middle Grades Success Initiative

Together, we can help middle school students stay in school, stay on track, and build a successful future.


 

Middle school is a time for students to explore their strengths and start to think about their future. It is a time for incredible changes, growth and learning. But, it is also a time when too many students start to disengage with school and take the first steps on the path towards dropping out of high school, putting their futures at risk. This vulnerable time for students is coupled with a lack of support in the middle school years from outside organizations. There are more community supports for young children and high school students.
 
Fueled by a federal Social Innovation Fund grant, United Way of Greenville County, the Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy, the Riley Institute at Furman University and nonprofit partners have teamed up with Greenville County Schools to transform our community’s ability to help middle school students stay on track, graduate and build a successful, thriving future.

Eliminating Barriers to Student Success

Many of the middle school students in Greenville County’s White Horse community are at risk of not graduating high school on time, or not graduating at all. 

Students often come into the classroom with lots of needs outside of school that may prevent them from doing their best. Poverty. Hunger. Family issues. The obstacles facing our students can be overwhelming.

While schools and teachers are passionate about providing quality education, they cannot do it alone. Eliminating the barriers that block our kids from achieving the future that we want for every child in our community requires the partnership of schools, the community, families, nonprofits, businesses, local government and others, all working together in support of our students. Working together is our best hope for their future, and our best hope for the future of our community.

Why the Middle Grades Matter

Middle school is a time when too many students start to disengage with school and take the first steps on the path towards dropping out of high school, putting their futures at risk.

Research shows that attendance, behavior and course performance in middle school are key factors in predicting a student’s odds for success when they reach high school.
 
Sixth-graders with one or more of the following indicators were found to have a 75% chance of dropping out in absence of effective interventions: 1) attended less than 80% of school days; or 2) received poor final behavior grade in core course; or 3) failed Math or English.

 Early Warning. Coordinated Response.

OnTrack Greenville is focused on implementing an Early Warning and Response System.

Piloted effectively in other communities around the country, OnTrack Greenville’s Early Warning and Response System will utilize real-time data to identify students beginning to disengage from school as indicated by attendance, behavior, and course performance.


Once a student is identified, a coordinated team of educators and community experts develop a customized plan to match the student with the right response interventions and then monitor his/her progress over time.
 
To see an early warning and response system in action, watch the PBS Frontline special, Middle School Moment.