Path 7 - Reinforce the New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy, building on actions in more than 100 schools
Despite the efforts of schools participating in the New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy, an examination of the graduation and qualifications rates of the past three years reveals that most of the schools involved in NANS remain among those with the lowest rates of student retention. It is important to gain a more precise understanding of the actions that schools and school boards must undertake in the context of this strategy.
Identification of 133 beacon schools in Québec
To accelerate reinforcement of the New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy and the 13 Paths to Success, interventions such as diagnostic assistance and training activities will be carried out by resource persons from school boards and MELS in 69 elementary schools and 64 secondary schools.
These schools have been selected on the basis of the actions they have accomplished and their desire to do more.
The expertise developed in these schools will help to guide the implementation of the New Approaches, New Solutions strategy in all the other schools. A quarterly follow-up of objectives and deadlines will be carried out as part of the obligation of result.
Two projects in target communities
Two school boards, Commission scolaire des Samares and Commission scolaire Saint-Hyacinthe, will create projects based on the New Approaches, New Solutions strategy and on tested methods, such as those applied elsewhere in Canada (Pathways to Education, which provides four forms of support—academic, social, financial and personal) or in the United States (Check and Connect, which offers an approach promoting student commitment, especially for secondary schools at risk).
They will also develop trend charts for managing student retention. These could be made available to other school boards in Québec to support them in implementing their own actions.
Reinforcement of the New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy
Just as the interventions and guidance of the 133 beacon schools begin, the other schools participating in the New Approaches, New Solutions strategy will be making improvements to their activities.
The New Approaches, New Solutions intervention strategy is aimed at changing school practices, particularly in the classroom, to ensure that students receive more personalized guidance, that greater contact is established between the school, parents and the community, and that the general atmosphere of the school changes, especially through the addition of extracurricular activities.
The strategy is being revised as follows:
- more precise expectations of school boards and their schools
- adoption by schools of a preventive approach for all students and a targeted approach for the students in greatest difficulty
- governance that relies on the leadership of administrators in the school and the community, as well as the essential involvement of members of the school staff
- an ongoing planning process involving the production of a quarterly rather than an annual plan
- an annual accountability report by school boards and their schools
- ongoing sharing of expertise and professional development on intervention in disadvantaged areas
The person in charge of the New Approaches, New Solutions strategy for each school board will closely support the school principal in the following activities:
- development and implementation of the success plan
- mobilization of teachers
- establishment of cooperative links between the secondary school and the elementary schools in its territory
To lower its dropout rates (from 31% in 2001 to 6% in 2003), the École secondaire Des Montagnes of the Commission scolaire des Samares achieved concrete results by implementing new actions and involving school staff, the students’ community and their families. Among other measures, the school completely modified its organizational “model” in order to offer students more options and areas of study that were likely to meet their needs and interests.