The Linkage Coordinator Component
The mission of CTAG is to provide a firm foundation of social, emotional and academic interventions that increases the potential for targeted 9th grade students to earn sufficient credits for promotion to the 10th grade, thereby allowing them the opportunity to set their sights on graduation and beyond.
THE LINKAGE COORDINATORThe original component of the CTAG initiative strategy was the Linkage Coordinator. A Linkage Coordinator is a mentor, motivator and life coach placed in targeted schools to address and monitor the academic, social and emotional needs of select 9th grade students. These individuals are required to orchestrate the collaboration of parents, teachers, administrators and community partners in an effort to successfully assist their student cohorts in closing the achievement gap.The ability to build a common connection with students is the Linkage Coordinator’s first priority and most valuable asset. The establishment of mutual trust and rapport is what strengthens the mentoring bond and influence that these individuals utilize to promote positive decision making, the importance of academics and high school graduation.School Based Interventions Include:
- Quarterly tracking of student academic and social progress
- Parental contact via phone calls and/or home visits
- Establishment of academic, attendance and behavioral goals
- Access to tutorial supportive services
- Advocacy for alternative disciplinary actions
- Family/student social service referrals
- Exposure experiences
- Community service
For example, CTAG is working collaboratively with Tri-C's Youth Technology Academy (YTA), a STEM focused high school program designed to train students for the technical workforce. The program is in 14 CMSD high schools, but Nathan Hale is the first K-8 school. Two days a week, during their lunch time the about 10 students meet with a YTA instructor, and other members at Nathan Hale and learn the basics of coding a robot. This pilot robotics program at Nathan Hale, a STEM school, is thanks to the District’s Closing the Achievement Gap program, which is designed to help at-risk students thrive academically.
CTAG Summer Bridge Program
Annually, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students attend a free four-week camp during the months of May and June, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The students participate in workshops designed to enhance their transition from the elementary to secondary school environment. In addition, they attend weekly local and statewide exposure trips. All camp participants enjoy a hot breakfast, lunch and free transportation.