From 2009 to 2011, the Sanchez Charter School graduation rate increased from 34.7 percent to 65 percent.
The increase is especially dramatic given the highly at-risk student population we serve. In fact, nearly one third of our students are English language learners and 24 percent of the students who enter Sanchez are missing credits. Some students are pregnant or parenting and others are on juvenile probation. Nearly every Sanchez student faces one or more challenges that put them and risk of dropping out and make it more difficult for them to succeed in school.
So how did we do it? How did we increase the graduation rate?
A large part of our success stems from improvements we made under a three-year $5.2 million Texas Title I Priority Schools (TTIPS) Grant, which was awarded to fund transformation of the curriculum and school culture. Among our strategies, we used grant funds to:
- Add professional staff, including counselors who assist with the wraparound services that are so important for our students.
- Provide professional development for our faculty in project-based learning, which is particularly effective in teaching at-risk students.
- Put more technology into the classrooms, including Promethean boards in every classroom and netbooks and tablets that keep students engaged in learning.
- Improve processes and incorporate data-driven instruction.
Our students have made AAMAzing progress and we are proud of their success.
We are working toward the day when every student who enters Sanchez graduates ready for college or career.