Passages by the Numbers

Posted on Wednesday September 17, 2014

We recently completed three days of staff trainings and workshops in preparation for the students’ arrival this week.  All three workshop days were held at our Opportunity Farm Campus in New Gloucester, and included both Residential and Passages Program staff. On the agenda:  Substance Abuse Prevention, Mediation & Restorative Justice, Cultural Competency, Emergency Action Plans and more.  During these three days we also relaxed by the fire, roasted marshmallows, went running and swimming, took photos, went for walks, read and sketched, slept in tents or dorm rooms, and enjoyed some amazing corn, beets and tomatoes from our very own gardens!

One of our workshop sessions with Tree Street Youth

One of our workshop sessions with Tree Street Youth

One of the highlights of the three workshops days, however, was the presentation of Passages outcome data collected by researchers at The REACH (Research Evaluation Assistance for Change) Collaborative. Lead Researcher Dr. Maryann Corsello and intern Tiffany Foster conducted the research over the course of the 2013-2014 school year.

Back Row, L-R: Dr. Maryann Corsello of The Reach Collaborative, Passages Teacher Fern Hilyard, Wayfinder Schools COO Bob Dunfey, Wayfinder Schools CEO & Head of Schools Dr. Dorothy Foote, Passages Teachers Joy Knowlton, Cindy Stevenson and Erica Gates, and Passages Curriculum Consultant Andrea Itkin. Front Row, L-R: Tiffany Foster of REACH, Passages Teachers Stephanie Whiting and Cora Townsend, and Passages Program Director Martha Kempe.  (Missing from photo is Passages Teacher Katy Finch).

Back Row, L-R: Dr. Maryann Corsello of The Reach Collaborative, Passages Teacher Fern Hilyard, Wayfinder Schools COO Bob Dunfey, Wayfinder Schools CEO & Head of Schools Dr. Dorothy Foote, Passages Teachers Joy Knowlton, Cindy Stevenson and Erica Gates, and Passages Curriculum Consultant Andrea Itkin. Front Row, L-R: Tiffany Foster of REACH, Passages Teachers Stephanie Whiting and Cora Townsend, and Passages Program Director Martha Kempe. (Missing from photo is Passages Teacher Katy Finch).

In September 2013, REACH staff met with Passages Program Director Martha Kempe to review current data collection instruments including “Social motivation in the secondary classroom: Assessing teacher-student relationships from both perspectives,” (Gehlbach, Brinkworth & Harris, Harvard University) and 16 Habits of Mind (Kallick and Costa). They also developed a “Strengths Analysis” of the Passages Program model in conjunction with Passages staff, and all three instruments were used to measure Passages data over the next few months.

By June of 2014, 74% of students (including a few who graduated at the end of this school year) had completed at least one survey. The results were compiled over the summer…and now…the moment we were waiting for!

REACH data

Outcome data collected by REACH indicate that:

91% of Passages students are confident they will graduate from high school

93% reported that Passages has positively influenced their education

93% reported that they enjoy learning from their teacher

95% reported their teacher was encouraging

96% indicated it was important to have the one-on-one learning style

98% rated their sessions with their teacher as motivating

100% reported their teacher was friendly

100% of students felt their teachers are respectful towards them, and

100% reported their teachers care about their success

Additionally, students offered the following comments:

“I love the Passages Program. It allows me to get my diploma when I’ve gotten all my work done, while being able to stay home and take care of my daughter, clean the house and have a job while getting my education done on time.”

“I love the Passages Program. I thought I was going to have to drop out of school but now I’m going to be graduating in the fall.”

“I love this program a lot better than regular high school. It may be different but definitely no bullying!!”

“I love the program; it is a great experience!”

“I love it.  The best school.”

“I’m glad I’m in this program.  I’ve come a long way with school and I’m proud!”

“I’ve been learning more in this program than when I was in regular school.  My teacher is nice to me and I’m learning stuff that I really need to know like budgeting and self-care, etc.”

” I love it!”

“A great way for me to find my way!”

“I love going to the workshops and meeting new people.”

“Without this program life would’ve been hard.”

“I have learned how to budget my money better and interact with other moms.”

” I have learned a lot but most importantly about my child and how she grows and learns.”

“Without this program I don’t know what I would’ve done academically or emotionally. This program has changed my life in so many ways.”

” Wonderful, caring people.”

“This school is amazing. They REALLY, REALLY care about us.”

“I loved this program and am proud to call myself a graduate.”

Congratulations Passages students and staff and thank you to The REACH Collaborative.  The research will continue into the coming school year, with additional data tracked in the areas of parenting knowledge and skill, parenting confidence, community connection, life and job skills development and more.

Passages will serve more than 60 Maine teens this year in York, Cumberland, Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, Androscoggin, Washington and Sagadahoc counties.  For more information about The Passages Program, contact Passages Program Director Martha Kempe at marthak@wayfinderschools.org or Admissions Coordinator Pamela Simpkins at pamelas@wayfinderschools.org