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Hillyard Youth Collaborative granted $400K to work with at risk students | News

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Hillyard Youth Collaborative granted $400K to work with at risk students
News, Schools
Hillyard Youth Collaborative granted $400K to work with at risk students

Students at Shaw and Garry Middle Schools will have some extra help over the next few years. The schools will be working with the Hillyard Youth Collaborative to utilize a $400,000 grant from the Community Partners for Middle School Success over the next three years.

“I think we’re very excited about this because it’s laced with hope and uniqueness,” said Mark Hurtubise, President and CEO of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, one of the organizations funding the grant.

The grant is funded by a group of local businesses and non-profits and will bring social and academic support to students that are classified as high-risk.  Spokane Public Schools has been using a early detection system since 2012 to determine which students were at risk for dropping out based on attendance, behavioral issues and course completion. Using the model, the school district can intervene with students as young as third grade to keep them on track for graduation.

The Hillyard Youth Collaborative is made up of Gonzaga University, Communities in Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County. The group applied for the grant jointly, with Dr. John Traynor, Chair of the GU Department of Teacher Education taking the lead.

The goal is to support students at Garry and Shaw deemed as at risk by providing them with extra help and social services. Students from Gonzaga will be providing mentorship and teacher support over the three year life span of the grant. Communities in Schools will provide social services and case management for those students. Because of the grant, the Boys & Girls Club will be open on Saturday to provide additional after school programming and homework help.

The long term goal is to continue to graduation momentum that Rogers High School has gained over the last few years. In 2009 the graduation rate sat at just 51 percent, last spring, 79 percent of the class of 2013 donned a cap and gown.

The Shaw and Gary principals are excited to see this new investment in the success of their students.

“Together I know we can do this,” said incoming Principal of Shaw, John Swett. “People often ask what it looks like for a village to raise a child, this is what it what it looks and sounds like.”

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