Growing Success in Small(er) ABE Programs

Growing Success in Small(er) ABE Programs

By: Elizabeth Coley, GOALS Academycoleyeli@clay.k12.in.us812-446-2536

GOALS Academy is located in the rural community of Clay County, Indiana. Annual student enrollment is around 100 students (ABE, ESL, and IET). The IET offered is Paraprofessional Certification. The entire county is served with two classroom sites. Staff is made up of 5 ABE teachers, 1 ESL teacher, a site coordinator, and a director who also is the principal of the local alternative high school. 

The following are key components that have helped our small program be and remain successful in aiding our students in earning the HSE, connecting students to certification courses, and finding careers.

  • Staff communication 
      • Group text-updates, encouragement to each other
      • Staff email-maintaining contact about what is happening in the program
      • Student folder-spot for teacher notes to communicate with other staff. (what student needs help with, accomplished, information)
  • Weekly reports (ran and provided by the program coordinator)
      • Attendance Sheet-A weekly attendance sheet of who was in class and when
      • Check-In Sheet-Who was absent? Who was barely in class? Who was unengaged? (During the first day of class for the week, staff call these students to check-in)
      • Post-Test Sheet-Students who have met the academic work or acquired enough attendance hours and need to post-test
      • Close to Exiting Sheet-What students are near exiting the program due to inactive attendance
  • Community support
    • Retired teacher groups
      • Tutoring resources, financial support to ABE program
    • Local Newspaper
      • Share upcoming certification courses, class times, HSE test dates
    • Systems of Care Committee
      • Students sometimes need resources of help beyond ABE. Systems of Care Committees can help connect students to services
    • Local food programs
      • Food insecurity can be a barrier for students. K-12 weekend food programs might be able to help those students under 18 years of age and local food pantry could help those over 18 years of age. 
    • High School communication
      • Students exiting to homeschool often have no intention of homeschool. This is the way to ‘drop-out’. High schools openly referring students to ABE when they exit, can help stop the lag in education. 
    • Focusing on each student 
      • Seeing smaller enrollment? Use it to focus on each student as an individual and the needs of that student.

Download a copy of these tips by Elizabeth

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