REDMOND, OR -- When freshman start at Redmond and Ridgeview High, Tuesday, they will be greeted by new High School Success Coordinators.
At Ridgeview, Heather Peterson is focused on helping ninth graders succeed because studies show the first year of high school is critical to eventual graduation, "Our goal would be that, as we place those supports and we get to know what we’re doing – we see those success markers, that those continue to be in place for students as they go. That doesn’t mean that we forget about all the other kids. But, we place our focus on ninth grade, and then we grow it from there. So, next year then we’re looking at those same things, ninth-tenth." She says, under the old model, help didn’t come until it was too late … after a student had already failed, "So, we might look at the end of a trimester; we look at the end of a year. And, what’s hard about that is that we realized that we could’ve been doing stuff along the way."
She says the approach will be individualized for each student, "Interacting with them, meeting with their teachers and families and being creative about how I get information with that – maybe doing home visits, or getting connected with kids as much as possible. Because, we all know it’s very individual; it’s each person’s story and who better to ask than them?"
Hear more from RVHS Coordinator Heather Peterson in our Podcast
. Bend-La Pine schools launched a similar program, with graduation coaches, last year. Both programs are funded by Measure 98, passed in 2016.