JHS Peer Mentoring Program 2017-18

Dear Parents and Guardians of JHS Freshmen and Seniors:

This year JHS will be providing peer to peer mentoring for almost every freshmen, to help them during the difficult transition from junior high school to high school.

Goals

The goals of the program are for freshmen to:

  • Connect with our JHS community
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Conquer high school (successfully graduate)
Who will participate?

Seniors

Most seniors will be participating in the program as peer mentors to the freshmen. Mentoring will fulfill their community service requirements in their Government, Economics and Mentoring (G.E.M.) class (formerly Participation in Government and Economics) or Advanced Placement Politics, Leadership and Economics (A.P.P.L.E.) class.

The seniors will learn mentoring and communication skills in their social studies class. In groups, seniors will create mentoring lesson plans which they will facilitate and teach throughout the year. The seniors will then run peer mentoring sessions most Fridays during the enrichment period throughout the school year.

Those seniors who choose not to be mentors will be required to either complete 32 hours of volunteer community service work, or lead a community service project similar to the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout program or Girl Scouts Gold Award program.

Freshmen

On most Fridays, and one Thursday (October 5), freshmen will have to stay in their enrichment classroom rather than going elsewhere with a pre-signed pass. Groups of senior mentors will come to the freshmen’s enrichment classrooms to conduct the mentoring experiences.   A teacher will always be present in the classroom during these mentoring sessions.

Each week the freshmen will also be required to complete an exit ticket to document what they learned in each peer mentoring session. Attendance at the mentoring sessions and completing the exit tickets each week will be reported to freshmen’s social studies teachers. This participation will be included in students’ citizenship grades for ninth grade social studies. Absent students will have to communicate through school email with a senior mentor to ask questions and find out what they missed during the mentoring session.

What is the peer mentoring schedule?

JHS staff have been encouraged to avoid scheduling club, class, or other activities during Friday enrichment, so that the freshmen and seniors do not have conflicting responsibilities during mentoring sessions.

The initial ninth grade survey will be administered during enrichment between Wednesday, September 25, 2017 and Friday, September 29, 2017.

Mentoring sessions will then take place on Thursday, October 5, and then most Fridays through May 25, 2018.

How will the effectiveness of this peer mentoring program be evaluated?

Pre-test and post-test surveys will be conducted to determine the following:

Connect

To determine if the peer mentoring program was effective at getting freshmen to feel connected to the JHS community, students will be surveyed to determine their self-reported feeling of connectivity to the JHS school community as well as the amount of their participation in JHS community activities versus their participation in Knox community activities.

Communicate

Pre and post surveys will be conducted to evaluate freshmen’s confidence in their own communication skills.

Conquer

Pre and post surveys will be conducted that ask questions that show correlations to being at greater risk to dropping out of school. Attendance, course failure rates, and overall GPA will also be compared from eighth to ninth grade.

Questions, comments, or concerns?

Please email or talk to JHS peer mentoring coordinator Sean Russo about any and all questions, comments, or concerns that you have about this newly revised JHS peer to peer mentoring program. His email is srusso@johnstownschools.org.

Thank you in advance for your support for the JHS peer mentoring program!

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