Gates Notes: On The Right Track in Chicago

In a recent blog post, Gates Notes highlights a success story of NCS, North-Grand High School, which serves the Humboldt Park community in Chicago.

In 2012, NCS and North-Grand began working together to increase the number of freshmen who finished the year "on-track." At the time, only 76% of North-Grand's freshmen were on-track.
NCS used research findings that showed how the transition from middle school to high school can be especially tough for students. Students often struggle with making friends, battling depression, and adapting to a new school. Based on this, the team at North-Grand designed interventions that helped students find their footing by identifying at-risk incoming 9th graders and offering them support right away. They also designed a freshman seminar that guides students through their transition to high school.
Thanks to these efforts, North-Grand's on-track rate for freshmen rose from 76% to 95%. The school went from being ranked among the worst schools in Chicago to one of the best. NCS connected a network of 17 high schools in Chicago, and many of them have adopted similar programs and experienced similar progress.
NCS's approach to improving student achievement empowers schools to identify their most pressing challenges and design the right solutions. By embracing data, research, and the collective knowledge of their local community, schools can help students succeed in high school, college, and beyond.