BAP055 Graduating SLIFE and One World Club

YES!!   Students with limited formal education (SLIFE) who we wrote about 4 years ago in Boosting Achievement are now passing multiple standardized assessments and we have more and more students with interruptions in education graduating.

We just received our scores here in Texas and we have a lot to celebrate! I want to give KUDOS to the teachers, peer tutors and, of course, the students themselves.  I can tell you that the students I’m talking about arrived in the US from situations of war and unimaginable hardships.

These students were in a large “refugee class” at one of our middle schools and a few months into the school year, the situation had deteriorated so much that there were classroom brawls almost daily.

You can read more about that issue in Boosting Achievement; Reaching Students with Interrupted or Minimal Education.  I wrote that book with Anna Matis and our goal was to document what didn’t work for me and also some of the huge wins we started having with these students.


We are able to help them gain literacy and were eventually able to be mainstreamed into general education classes.  That said, they failed state assessments that were evaluating grade level content mastery because they had educational gaps that take time to close.

That is why it is so exciting to see that some of those 8th graders are now juniors in the school where I volunteer and they are right on course to graduate on time.  With these latest test results, we know that they have passed Algebra, Biology and US History as administered by the state of Texas.  Here is a sample question from the US History exam.

Remember that they still have little to no literacy in their native language.  This would mean that they truly had to be able to read in English, analyze and know the content to have success on tests like this.

Congratulations to these students!  I think it is very important to be explicit about what is possible and show evidence of that.  In the last episode, Episode 54, I spent a lot of time explaining how I support students who may not pass their assessments.  These students heard all of that from me over the years and I am so proud of them for continuing to persevere and continuing to add to their knowledge with more and more learning.

While we do not have a “newcomer center” or any special services for these SLIFE students that I am aware of, our school has intervention efforts, tutorials, summer school and all the same supports that are available to all students.  We also have a local outreach effort that helps support the students with extracurricular and academic reinforcement for all area students who look for support.

One effort that I am going to highlight today is a club that was started by a neighborhood student.  This One World Club was started by Hannah Keller.  Hannah is passionate about supporting immigrant students and created the club with goals to foster relationships between immigrant and non-immigrant students, to support each other and to support the community through volunteer efforts.

In this show, two of the club leaders join me in a #MADPD session where they explain how YOU can start your own One World Club.

#MADPD is an annual, online conference where anyone is invited to present on a topic that is making a difference in education.  Here is the video version of and also the slide deck we are using in the presentation is here for you to use.

I also want to be sure you have access to ALL the #MADPD sessions so just click on this link to see the table.  There are now hundreds of sessions and they are a great way to self-direct your learning on so many different topics

I am also embedding some pictures from our end of year celebration and graduation party.  CONGRATULATIONS to the SLIFE students who graduated, the SLIFE students who are passing standardized assessments and to ALL students who are continuing to move forward in their educational journey.

Thank you for helping me celebrate these kids who have worked so hard.

In the show I mention that we are still reaching out to students who were NOT successful on state or graduation assessments.  We are making sure they are aware of what is available to them and we have set up more peer tutoring for those who want to take advantage of that.  It took me all of 3 minutes to get some volunteers from One World Club for that!

So please keep in mind that we have realistic goals for all of our students.  Those goals include success for everyone who taps into their grit and growth mindset.  We as educators must change how we serve kids so they don’t have to be so gritty.  But we also need to realize that they can ALL be successful with our support.

Thanks for stopping by and stay awesome!!

Maybe I’ll see you at one of the following events:

FULL DAY of Seven Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom

in Omaha, Nebraska on Sept 24, 2019.

and on October 10th in Detroit, Michigan.

I’ll be the keynote speaker for BCTESOL in British Colombia in the fall. FULL DAY of Rapid Literacy Pre-Conference Oct 24 and then the Keynote on Oct 25!

Coming to Colorado as a featured speaker for COTESOL on Nov 8th.

FULL DAY of BOOSTING ACHIEVEMENT is coming to Orlando  on November 6th &   St. Louis, Missouri on Dec 2nd, 2019  Check out those links to join us!

Thank you again for tuning in and for all you are doing!  Come connect with me on Twitter!  I’d love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “BAP055 Graduating SLIFE and One World Club

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *