Success Story: Mentoring Sets Blackstone Valley Students on Path to College

When Blackstone Valley Preparatory High School (BVPHS) in Rhode Island opened its doors in 2014, it did so with a primary goal in mind: to prepare all students for their path to college.

After learning that 100% of Summit Public School (SPS) seniors are four-year college ready and that SPS graduates complete college at twice the national average, the team decided to implement the Summit Learning Program. In addition to the Projects and Self-Directed Learning components, Mentoring was a particular draw for BVPHS.

BVPHS is a public charter school serving 300 students in grades 9-12, with 62% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. As one of the first schools in the nation to implement Summit Learning, BVPHS first opened the Summit Learning Program to all of its 9th-10th grade students in 2015-16.

In the 2016-17 school year, BVPHS 11th graders—now in their second year of Summit Learning—were 91% more likely than Rhode Island juniors of similar demographics to be college and career ready in both literacy and math on the SAT.

The embedded case study below highlights student growth and engagement in learning through projects and the Summit Learning Program.

Driven by the goal to help all students achieve college success, BVPHS expanded Summit Learning to all 330 of its students in 9-12 grades in the 2017-18 school year.

Drew Madden, director of innovation and accountability at BVPHS, credits part of students’ success to the the Mentoring component of the Summit Learning approach: “I don’t think we can emphasize enough that mentoring has been really important and highly relevant to our success.”

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.