“During the first year, things continued to be pretty chaotic,” Sparrow says, including significant numbers of suspensions. “But in the last couple of years we’ve seen drastic reductions in suspensions, other disciplinary actions, and incidents of disrespect.” Further, attendance is at an all-time high and the graduation rate for 2018-19 reached 88%, significantly higher than that for similar high schools in PA (71%), and for the school district (69%, for both district and alternative high schools).
“These improvements,” Sparrow believes, “have everything to do with relationships and with our school community buying into the Tri-Change Model and the culture it promotes. We’ve invested in staff training and hired more support staff, and the culture of our building has changed significantly for the better.”
The real key to success, Sparrow says, is building relationships across the school community. “If a student knows they’re cared about, then it makes all the difference. Reach the person first, and then you can teach him or her anything.”