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The Perseverance to Succeed in School and Career: Report Card Analysis & Student-Led Conferencing

August 2016

“It’s their learning, their scores, and their language development, so we wanted students to be active participants in the process.”

–Kristen O’Brien, Assistant Principal, I.S. 126

During the 2015–16 school year, the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OPSR) partnered with Eskolta to launch the Career Competency Fellows, a program that brought together a select group of eleven educators from schools exhibiting a promising approach to career development for all students. The program was grounded in the College and Career Readiness Domains developed by OPSR to serve as a road map for educators to help students work toward college and career readiness. The Perseverance to Succeed in School and Career: Report Card Analysis & Student-Led Conferencing details the practices cultivated at I.S. 126 Albert Shanker School for Visual and Performing Arts through the leadership of assistant principal and Career Competency Fellow Kristen O’Brien.

To improve students’ passing rates, staff at I.S. 126 focused on helping students build and genuinely internalize the belief that effort and the use of strategies will lead to success. They designed and adopted practices to help students develop their growth mindset—their sense that their abilities can grow with effort—to persevere and succeed not only in school but beyond. This case study follows the journey of two students as they engaged with two practices—close reading of report cards and student-led conferences—that instilled within them a newfound sense of ownership over their learning born of persisting through struggle. Included in this study are steps, tips, and templates for both practices designed to be useful for teachers and school leaders alike.

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