Success for Middle School Students

Success for Middle School Students

We just had a look at the data for the 700 students who participated in BEF’s Safe and Sound 4 Student Success “S4” Program last year. Once again, the data shows that students who access S4’s afterschool academics and athletics did better than peers in attendance, behavior, and grades. S4 uses the opportunity to play sports as the “hook” to get students to sign up for this free, afterschool program. The program then requires students to meet certain accountability standards in order to participate in popular weekend activities such as interschool tournaments. Data consistently shows this approach translates into better school performance for those students who participate when compared to a “control group” of their peers.

Highlights from the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Attendance: S4 students had a 94% attendance rate, compared to peers who attended only 92.2% of the time. While this doesn’t sound like much of a difference, it translates into S4 students being in class 3.6 extra days a year more than their peers. Attendance is also considered one of the key factors in school success.
  • Disciplinary Incidents: 79% of S4 students had no disciplinary incidents compared to 80% of peers and fewer and shorter in-school suspensions when behavior incidents did arise.
  • Grades: S4 students also had higher grades than their peers in both Language Arts and Math. In Language Arts, 73.8% of S4 students ended the year with a C or better, compared to 71.5% of their peers. In Math, 70% of S4 students had a C or better compared to 67.3% of their peers.

Last year, with community support, BEF was able to provide this program completely free to about 700 students at eight middle schools plus one option school that serves the middle school grades. This year we hope to expand enrollment to serve 900 students. This spring we will pilot an experiment that adds a third day at one school site and adding the opportunity to play basketball. If this pilot works well, we hope to roll it out to two to three additional sites next fall. Like many in our state, the Beaverton School District is unable to support programs outside the school day, so BEF steps in to make this impactful program possible. Your contributions help ensure programs like S4 are available to support our students.