Achieving Success With Ebony

As a middle school student at the High Road School of Baltimore County, Ebony displayed behaviors that negatively affected her academic performance. She would shut down when faced with math and reading challenges and had difficulty self-regulating her actions. In fact, Ebony’s reactions to frustrations sometimes resulted in her causing harm to herself or others. Unfortunately, her struggle with impulsive and inappropriate behavior disrupted her ability to learn.

Recognizing the need for a holistic approach, the High Road School staff developed an individualized plan for Ebony. She received one-on-one instruction of carefully designed individual lessons within a highly structured therapeutic classroom environment.  The school-wide behavioral system motivated and rewarded her increase in pro-social behaviors while Ebony also received individual and group counseling services.

We make sure our students understand what is expected of them, and we provide the tools to guide them toward academic success. By understanding expected behaviors, students can take ownership of their progress.

Mike Gahan, middle school teaching assistant

With this accountability piece of the High Road School model, Ebony began to take personal responsibility of her actions and reactions. This development allowed her to flourish in the classroom. Ebony started utilizing “I” statements to fully process the ownership of her actions. She volunteered to read books to the class and accepted that mistakes happen. Now Ebony is more comfortable moving out of her comfort zone and embracing difficult situations.

After developing a solid foundation of behavioral skills, school staff encouraged Ebony to continue building on her achievement. They used various teaching methods, including hands-on projects and experiments, along with direct instruction using multiple types of content such as video, audio, text and picture cues modeling and authentic situation learning. By broadening the types of learning experiences, Ebony began relating classroom teachings to real-life situations.

Real-world application of knowledge gained in the classroom is paramount, and Ebony’s eagerness to learn allowed her to progress quickly. She thrived when following the pattern of direct instruction, modeled instruction, guided practice, then applied independent practice.

Tracey Coleman, middle school teacher

Throughout her time at High Road School, Ebony continued to make great strides behaviorally and academically. She improved her iReady test scores in both math and reading so much that she was accepted back into the public school system, where she started high school in fall 2018.

Ebony achieved success through a structured environment, consistent expectations and accountability. She learned to take responsibility for her actions and reactions, opening the opportunity for academic learning and personal growth. In two years, Ebony overcame many challenges and developed into a model High Road student. While faculty and staff at the High Road school will miss having her in the classroom, they are also excited to see what Ebony’s future holds.

We strive to help students develop the skills they need to return to their district school systems. When they leave us, we know they are prepared for success.

Kimberly Fuqua, middle school teaching assistant