Reconnecting Youth is a class that follows a research-based curriculum that was developed as an indicated intervention for students identified as "at-risk" of dropping out of high school. The class has three goals that drive lessons and student progress:
1. Improving School Achievement (attendance and academic performance).
2. Improving Drug-Use Control
3. Improving Mood Management
Students are invited to participate in this class. The following criteria MUST be met in order for a student to be invited to join the class. Students must:
• Be behind in credits earned for grade level.
• Be in the top 25th percentile for absences.
• GPA lower than 2.5 OR have experienced a precipitous drop in grades.
• Have prior drop out status OR are referred by school personnel and meet one of the above criteria.
Four key elements are integrated into each session of Reconnecting Youth. They include:
1. Leader/Teacher and peer group support to enhance feelings of acceptance and belonging.
2. Life skills training to enhance protective factors and promote greater resiliency.
3. Monitoring program goals to help students establish and maintain personal control.
4. Social activities and school bonding to foster healthy choices in friends and activities.
The curriculum is comprised of five modules or units which are described below:
Getting Started: The First 10 Days
This unit sets the tone for the class that promotes positive peer culture and introduces students to the content, processes, and procedures they will experience throughout the course. The primary outcome of this unit is to establish a sense of trustworthiness among the group leader and students and between the students themselves. The life skills/processes that are taught and modeled in this unit include:
• Listening to each other
• Giving helpful feedback
• Trusting each other
• Showing care and concern for each other
• Negotiating agendas
• Encouraging participation
• Celebrating group successes
Self Esteem Enhancement
This unit encompasses what self esteem is, what impact self esteem has on daily life, and how it can be developed and maintained throughout the course. The life skills/processes that are taught/modeled in this unit include:
• Practice positive self talk and self appraisal
• Accepting responsibility for actions
• Handling criticism
• Relaxation Techniques
• Praising Others
This unit helps students make the connection between decision making skills and personal power. Students also learn that having well developed decision making skills allows them to enjoy greater personal freedom, greater personal control, increased self esteem, improved moods, and achievement of personal goals. Life skills taught in this module include:
• Decision making (STEPS Model)
• Reaching agreement
• Resolving conflicts
• Making individual and group contracts for personal growth.
This unit teaches students skills in managing stress, depression, and anger. Students will learn how to identify their triggers for their depression and realize the destructiveness of their downward emotional spirals. They will explore the effects of uncontrolled anger and aggression and the damaging impact they can have on their relationships and their self esteem. Skills taught and modeled in this unit include:
• Practicing coping strategies for stress
• Changing destructive responses to anger, depression and other strong emotions
• Giving and receiving support
• Using social network resources to gain and maintain personal control
This unit provides advanced skill learning opportunities for communicating effectively with peers, teachers, and parents. The acquisition of these skills will allow students to achieve greater personal control and become connected to more positive social resources, thereby helping students achieve program goals. Skills modeled and taught in this unit include:
• Negotiating with teachers
• Giving and receiving help in friendships
• Resolving conflicts with parents
Reconnecting Youth is not an "easy A." Students will be working hard in the class to make changes in their lives. Student achievement will be measured by the following indicators:
1. School Attendance: (total of 7 points per day or 575 points per semester)
*School activities and appointments for counselors/therapists will not result in a loss of points. All other excused and non-excused absences will result in a loss of points. Unexcused tardies also result in a loss of points.
2. Daily Workbook Assignments: (150 points per semester)
3. Group Support: (150 points per semester)
Students will earn points for participation and positive support of others.
95-100% = A
90-94% = A-
87-89% = B+
84-87% = B
80-84% = B-
77-80% = C+
74-77% = C
70-74% = C-
67-70% = D+
64-67% = D
60-64% = D-
0-60% = F
Guidelines for Classroom Behavior:
Each class will work as a group to establish norms for classroom behavior and will help the leader monitor and realize those guidelines. Official school policy will guide interventions related to tardies, dress code, attendance, etc. Please refer to the Mora High School Student Handbook for more detailed information.