My direct involvement with SBCS goes back a few year to 2006. At the time I was working as the After School Program Coordinator and a short time later as the Assistant Principal at Granger Jr. High School. Back then, Granger was a typical low performing inner city school: low test scores, apathetic/unmotivated students, unsafe campus (gangs, drugs, bullying, fights) and high absenteeism (lowest student attendance rate in the district). Many teachers were unhappy with the school and some had lost hope in our students.
From 2003-2006 we designed and continued to develop and implement the framework of a new type of academic program that was based on making homework and tutoring mandatory. Our test scores increased all three years so we knew we were on to something good but also understood we had a long way to.
Despite the progress, we were dissatisfied with the level of service we were receiving from our community partner (well known non profit in the area). After many meetings over two years trying to hash out the issues we had with them, we finally concluded that this agency was just not motivated and too set in their ways to improve their level of service. Our goal was to turn our school around and had lost patience working with an organization that was used to getting district contracts due to their political connections instead of the quality of service.
We looked round for an agency to partner with a good reputation in our area. We interviewed several but came away most impresses after meeting with Mauricio Torre and Xavier Martinez from SBCS. They listened to our frustrations and seemed to really understand our needs. We were cautiously optimistic as we entered into a trial MOU agreement to have them coordinate our after school program. From the very beginning both of these gentlemen produced on all their promises and went beyond the call of duty to make the partnership succeed.
Under this partnership with SBCS, Granger's academic scores soared (API score increased from 604 to 698). GJH was transformed from a dysfunctional/low performing school to one of the top schools in the state (2010 recognized the highly coveted Schools To Watch designation). A couple of years later SBCS was hired to implement the same program at National City Middle School (NCM). Test scores improved immdeiatley.
Many other schools in the district took notice and have since entered into contracts with SBCS to provide similar academic intervention programs for them. I now work at a high school in the district and one of the first things I did was to consult with SBCS to hire staff and implement a similar academic support and intervention program.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
As noted above, the test scores at Granger (and later at National City Middle) soared as a result of our partnership with SBCS.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Expand this program and offer their academic support services to all the school districts in the county.