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

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

SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: ***** IMPACT ***** A ***** ********** ***** NINTH GRADE STUDENT *****

***** ONE

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The questions ***** this research intends to answer are those as follows:

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

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

***** OF PROBLEM

Students who do not successfully transition in***** high school in the ***** school year are at a much higher risk of academic failure and ultimately at an ***** ***** of dropping out of high school completely. Academic interventions including small learning communities decrease the risk of ***** failure ***** high school **********. The work ***** Fletcher (2000, p.2) relates that through promotion of "meaningful student involvement, schools can ready student ***** a lifetime of signifi*****t p*****rticipation in *****ir ***** and nation." ***** additionally relates ***** providing *****s a chance for ***** involvement at school has four specific **********: (1) positive effects on the student's

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