Essay - Small Learning Communities: the Impact of a Freshman Academy on...


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SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: THE IMPACT OF A FRESHMAN ACADEMY ON NINTH GRADE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

ABSTRACT

***** factors affect the transition of the individual into the environment of the high school including peer-pressure, multi-age classrooms, increased responsibilities, more strenuous coursework, part-time jobs, family obligations, athletic participation as well as other extra-curricular activities. Research has suggested that the successful ***** of students ***** ninth-grade is highly predictive of the level ***** academic success of the student throughout all the remaining years ***** high school, which results in *****ing the student's success in life follow*****g high *****. It is known that students experiencing academic difficulties in the ***** school year also tend to have more absences, ***** office d*****cipline referrals, and lack a feeling of attachment ***** the school, which puts them at an increased risk for failing the ninth-grade ***** greatly increases ***** likelihood that these students will drop out of high ***** be*****e completion and graduation. In order to address the issue of ninth-grade transition difficulties some schools have created a sm***** le*****rning community, which has ********** named the 'Freshman Academy'. The objective ***** this present research is ***** examine ***** impact that the Freshman Academy has upon ninth-grade student *****. Toward ***** end, this study intends to conduct research in order to determine the degree to ***** small learning communities, ***** in ***** case the ***** Academy, ***** upon the academic achievement of ninth-grade students at a small rural high school in Central Florida. The methodology of this study ***** be both of a qualitative and a quantitative nature in order ***** determine the success of ***** Freshman Academy in *****creasing student ***** and attendance in the n*****th grade. The data will be collected at the end of ***** 2007-2008 school year from the school records documenting ***** achievement ***** ni*****-grade ********** and the attendance of ***** ninth-grade students. This data ***** then be compared to the achievement and attendance data for ***** students in the school year 2003-2004 prior ***** the implementation of ***** ***** Academy.

SMALL ***** COMMUNITIES: ***** IMPACT ***** A FRESHMAN ACADEMY ***** NINTH ***** STUDENT *****

CHAPTER ONE

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

***** questions that ***** research intends to answer are those as follows:

To what degree h***** the Freshman Academy affected student ***** among ninth-grade *****?

To what degree has the Freshman Academy affected the attendance ***** ninth-grade students?

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Students who do not successfully transition in***** ***** school in the n*****th-grade school ***** are at a much higher risk of academic failure and ultim*****ely at an increased risk of dropping out of high school completely. Academic interventions including ***** learning communities decrease the risk of ***** failure ***** ***** school attrition. The work ***** Fletcher (2000, p.2) relates ***** through promotion of "meaningful student involvement, schools can ready student ***** a lifetime of signific*****nt participation in their communities and nation." Fletcher additionally relates that providing students a chance for meaningful involvement at school has four specific **********: (1) positive effects on the student's

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