This Fall 2010, the Middletown Public Schools -- considered to be one of the state's most troubled school districts two years ago -- will join the ranks of Connecticut schools to have achieved adequate yearly progress (AYP) as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
The Center is proud to have played a part in helping Middletown schools and their students to meet this milestone through the implementation of our ROPE® Initiation of Scholars program.
Over the past four years, Dr. Blumenkrantz and The Center have been using the Rite of Passage Experience© ROPE® Initiation of Scholars program to create "scholars" among several groups of elementary and middle school students in the Middletown Connecticut Public School System. Students participating in these programs have included 75 fourth and fifth grade elementary school students, as well as 250 underachieving students in the 21st Century Community Learning Center programs at Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Keigwin Middle School.
During the summer of 2010, The Center used the Initiation of Scholars program in designing and conducting an intensive mandatory summer school for 22 underachieving Middletown seventh and eighth graders who were at risk to be held back a grade. With the aid of school mentors, teachers and support staff, 21 of these students completed the 5-week program and celebrated by taking the "Scholar's Pledge." All of these students have advanced to the next grade where they will continue to be supported by their mentors and school personnel.
The Rite of Passage Experience© ROPE® Initiation of Scholars program is especially effective for after-school enrichment programs for fifth through eighth grade students because it seamlessly blends fun and recreation with learning. Students explore the challenges, obstacles, problems and concerns adolescents face, especially with academic achievement.
The program is based on the philosophy that good students are not born, but must be guided to learn and to demonstrate the proper attitudes and skills that support becoming a good student. It does this through a process of initiating students into the role of "scholar," and systematically guiding them to discover the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve academic success. It also gives them the opportunity to practice these skills and receive the academic support necessary to achieve in school.