Arizona Department of Education

AIMS Intervention and Dropout Prevention Program TOOLKIT

Staff & Director Quotes

Theme - Staffing/Staff Effectiveness
Examples Quoted from Site Staff & Directors

  1. What strategies does your program use to help teachers / staff to stay motivated in their work?
  2. How do you recruit teachers / staff for this program?
  3. What kinds of teamwork and collaborative activities do teachers / staff engage in that improve student success in the program?
  4. What contributes most to your staff being most successful with at risk students?

When asked, "What strategies does your program use to help teachers / staff stay motivated in their work?"

Director Quotes:

  • "Social workers provide support and encouragement for the teaching staff as well as the students. All staff involved in ETC truly care about the students, and watching the transformation as some of the most troubled middle schoolers ‘get it' is very motivating." (2007-08 Amphitheater Unified District: Project ETC (Empowering, Teaching and Connecting)
  • "The Wings Academy teachers have a common collaborative planning period and have an administrator, resource teacher, SEI specialist, and a counselor available for disciplinary or attendance support. Their requests are honored and their input is valued. We meet on a weekly basis to handle any issues or concerns. They are involved in all budget expenditures and their requests are handled in a timely fashion. The Wings Academy teachers are continuously recognized for their willingness to participate in the redesign of the freshmen experience." (2007-08 Flagstaff Unified School District: The Wings Academy at Flagstaff High School)

  • "Teacher leadership. Building on the strengths of teachers/staff. Supporting innovation and creativity. Student success helps us all stay motivated. Chocolate helps!" (2007-08 Sunnyside Unified District S.T.A.R. Academic Center)

  • "At staff evaluation sessions, the Program Coordinator sits down and creates goals with the staff member for him/her to work on completing for the next evaluation. These goals can range from creating a new offline course for the students (Teacher) to developing a workshop geared toward the needs of teens." (2006-07 Coconino Career Center, Independent Learning Center)

  • "The strategies that GEAR UP uses to help teachers/staff stay motivated in their work include regular and ongoing communication / feedback, as well as opportunities to become meaningfully involved in a variety of ways in achieving project objectives. The State GEAR UP Office staff communicate regularly with site coordinators on every aspect of the project; site coordinators, in turn, are involved more intensely on a day-to-day basis with GEAR UP site teams, teachers, counselors and others who are committed to helping students succeed." (2006-07 NAU GEAR UP Program)

  • "We let them in on the successes and this gives them direct and immediate feedback on the fact their work is making a difference. For example, when we have a student who is considered at risk and they spend 50 hours in the tutoring lab, and their grades and test scores go up, we let the teachers know they are making a difference. And we also say thank you for all the work they do." (2006-07 Agua Fria Union High School District)

When asked, "How do you recruit teachers / staff for this program?"

Director Quotes:

  • "I first offer this opportunity to certified teachers in Math and English, then in other core subjects (i.e., our Science teachers integrate Math or Reading or Writing standards into each session). I also recruit Tohono O'odham instructional aides, who are the KEY to our success, since they serve as a bridge between this program and the community. I can lose some teachers, but I cannot lose my O'odham staff, for they are our vital link, giving us credibility in the community as well as greatly enhancing our communication and attendance." (2006-07 Indian Oasis Baboquivari High School)
  • "JAG Management and School Partners work together to identify the right individual. The Program works but only if you've got the right person. Basically, teachers who want to do more than just teach students, they need to want to help and lift up students. Right now there are 4 JAG Program Coordinators who in addition to their teaching certifications have ed. guidance certification." (2006-07 Jobs for Arizona's Graduates)
  • "OnTrack's staff are all certified. The OnTrack coordinator had years of experience in areas that were vital to the success of the program. Her expertise and attention to details and her ability to create curriculum and present workshops and collect data from research and evaluation is priceless. For Sundown, the instructors often teach during the daytime at that school and the principal recommends them for the program. All of our staff are certified; so, we recruit teachers that have retired or on the Mesa Unified Schools' substitute list who have areas of certification that meet our needs. Then we present the names of the teachers to the principals at each site and they make the final selection." (2006-07 Mesa Unified School District, OnTrack Program)

When asked, "What kinds of teamwork and collaborative activities do teachers / staff engage in that improve student success in the program?"

Director Quotes:

  • "The staff utilizes a team approach when addressing student needs and planning for meeting these individual student needs. There is lots of time allotted for sharing of information related to individual students and what they need, how they are performing academically, behaviorally, etc." (2006-07 Mary C. O'Brien Accommodation School District, Villa Oasis School)

  • "Curriculum planning is conducted on a weekly basis with all staff members engaged. This unified approach to planning has magnified the support for students." (2006-07 Buckeye Unified School District, Buckeye Academy)

  • "The collaborative activities that the staff engages in to improve student success are: meetings with NovaNET representatives (computer based learning program), collaboration on workshops, and monthly case meetings (where progress is evaluated on each individual.)" (2006-07 Coconino Career Center, Independent Learning Center)

  • "The Director of Curriculum and Instruction meets with all the teachers in the district to work on curriculum planning and the incorporation of the Arizona Workplace Standards in the lesson plans. Regular meetings are held at each school with the program coordinator, guidance counselors, and senior staff to evaluate program components, review data, and work on program planning regarding adding interventions that may work or discussing interventions which have not proven to be effective." (2006-07 Agua Fria Union High School District)

  • "YEP staff collaborate with teachers on students who may need extra help and spotting a particular deficiency that may be keeping the youth from moving ahead with the learning. They also work together to find a way to keep a student in school. A classroom teacher may notice an issue that the YEP Specialist is better equipped to handle and vice versa. If it is an outside of school problem threatening their attendance, the teacher and YEP Specialist can look for a way to alleviate the issue. If a student is in trouble in school, the YEP Specialist will advocate for in-school suspension rather than send the student away. The youth can stay in school, and YEP will arrange for the teachers to supply the work that will need to be completed while in the in-school suspension room." (2006-07 Arizona Call-A-Teen, Youth Excel Project)

  • "Teachers and staff communicate and share their effective practices and strategies. Teachers evaluate curriculum and give constant feedback to Curriculum developers." (2006-07 Primavera Online High School, Workforce Connections Program)

  • "JAG Coordinators become an asset to their campus in so many ways. The guidance counselors depend on them to monitor the daily attitude and progress of students; other teachers on campus look for them to provide academic remediation and to set up tutoring for struggling students. Administrators look for JAG Coordinators to assist them in resolving discipline issues with JAG students. JAG Coordinators work together between themselves (even though at many sites they are alone) via telephone, email and our staff meetings to share lessons and ideas and provide general support." (2006-07 Jobs for Arizona's Graduates)

  • "Professionals working as a team make up our OnTrack staff. At the beginning of the year we need to refresh our vision for OnTrack. Then we meet again at the end of the year. During the course of the year we email, make phone calls, and the OnTrack coordinator and I meet to check on how the program is working. Our district has many programs in place and we use OnTrack to build on the areas that need support. Sundown, correspondence program, distance learning, career centers and counselors are already in place at the schools, but most of these are available at additional cost to the students. The OnTrack coordinator collaborates with the counselors and principals at the schools to identify the students that we will serve. All of the identified students need help and OnTrack is available to help with free courses that they would usually have to pay $150.00 per half credit. This is a burden to many families and sometimes is the reason that students do not graduate. They just cannot afford the fees. It is a joy for counselors to be able to help these students with a scholarship from OnTrack." (2006-07 Mesa Unified School District, OnTrack Program)

  • "Team Teaching for business letter writing. The English teacher starts with the outline of the letter and 1st draft. Then the electronic writing teacher will help format it and then have them type it out. The final draft will be graded with both teachers in the room grading all papers for both classes. Revising [will go on] until they have all the mistakes and grammar changed. Several other activities have been done between the Reading and Social Studies teacher to read and research on a topic then report out the completed papers to their class. Students used poster board or CD covers to make the interaction with their presentation more colorful." (2006-07 Scottsdale Unified School District, Project CORE)

When asked, "What contributes most to your staff being most successful with at risk students?"

Director Quotes:

  • "Having common prep time to hold meetings where teachers can plan, celebrate, hold conferences, and work as a team has helped them to stay motivated. They have all expanded their teaching capacity greatly and have learned to incorporate so much technology into their teaching approach. Also, having all the materials they need/want has helped to motivate them." (2008-09 Dysart Unified School District: Success Academy)
  • "Our staff finds joy in helping students at risk find success in their educational goals. It is the freedom to identify what a student needs and then know that there are funds to support what the student needs to be successful." (2008-09 Mesa Unified District #4: OnTrack)
  • "Many of our teachers come from the community and therefore understand the unique challenges of working in a high-school that hugs the Mexican border with all that entails." (2008-09 Nogales Unified School District AIMS IDP Program)
  • "Setting boundaries, keeping your word and being a good listener." (2008-09 Yavapai County High School JAG “Hang In There” HIT Program)

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