By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While there’s no question that increasing achievement is the foremost goal of teachers in our schools today, teachers vary in their strategies and we need to find models that work. Caralee J. Adams has identified such a program in Blogs of the Week, in Education Week.

Ellen D’Amore, a 7th grade teacher in LaMuth Middle School in Painesville, Ohio, developed an advisory program, beginning with a focus on social/emotional awareness, then moving to academics. To build relationships, small groups meet weekly working on communication skills and learning to understand group dynamics.

In the two years since the program’s beginning, grades and attendance rates have improved, and behavior referrals have decreased. Emphasis on college readiness skills will be next – problem solving and resilience – clearly needed for school success.

The September newsletter of the Association for Middle Level Education highlighted the program advocating for advisory programs building relationships, promoting cooperation in achieving student and school goals.

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