We put our money where our mouth is. [In special education] every year you gain [just] 6 months & get farther and farther behind. Instead of gaining 6 months, we want you to gain 2 years for 1 year in the chair [i.e., one year in Morningside].
The kids gain two years. [They are] not lifers in special ed. We want them to gain a lot and grow a lot.
People say it’s impossible.
If we don’t [produce 2 years gain in 1 year], we give the parents the money back.
There are a couple of riders: students have to attend [school], and parents have to support the program. Parents have to be involved in daily report card.
Parents are required to attend one class a year on how to read and understand the daily support card. The parent has to interact with the Support Card or they lose the guarantee – [and] the parent can’t just give kids money for lots of [As]
[At Morningside, an equal sign on the Daily Support Card is the equivalent of an A.]
The parents do give tangible rewards: you pick dessert, you pick the video. Parents tie rewards to positive interactions in the family.
Or the family could just have a discussion with the child [if grades on the Daily Support Card are not what they should be].
The Support Card is a jumping-off point for parents. The parent can talk about each category, and the categories are very specific.
QUESTION: How do you know the parent has interacted with the Support Card?
If you see the child hasn’t been taking the Support Cards home – if that pattern shows up – or if the kid doesn’t care if he gets a point; that means the parent doesn’t care. Then [we] call the parent in for a conference, & at every conference we talk about 'How are you interacting with the Support Card?'
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
from my notes taken during the Summer School Institute at Morningside Academy: