U-46 mentoring initiative

U-46 aims to mentor its most vulnerable students
By Tara Garcia Mathewson

Ron Raglin

Ron Raglin, U-46 chief of equity and social justice, has been developing a new mentor initiative for the district since he started last fall. Photo by Brian Hill.

Among its approximately 41,000 students, Elgin Area School District U-46 had about 2,000 middle and high schoolers with at least two failing grades and five absences during the past school year.

Their names went on a districtwide “2-5 list” so teachers and administrators could keep tabs on them. Some of the students are at risk of dropping out. Many don’t have the support they need from adults at home.

Incoming seniors on that list and those who have already dropped out of school will be the most sought-after groups for a new mentor initiative getting under way this summer. The district plans to work backward, bringing in juniors, sophomores and freshman as the number of mentors grows.

Ron Raglin, chief of equity and social justice, has been developing the Game Changer Mentor Advocate Initiative since he started with the district last fall. Raglin said he wants to get to the seniors first then move to the younger students “as quickly but as thoroughly as possible.”

“We’re in intervention,” Raglin said. “We’re trying to move to prevention. The goal is to move all the way down to the elementary level — thoughtfully, succinctly, but systematically.”

Read the full story here.

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