SUMMIT IN ACTION

Case Study: 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 from 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.”

This post is part of series of case studies highlighting a variety of schools currently implementing the Summit Learning approach.

About the author

A storyteller and former educator, Lauren Faggella is dedicated to turning the Summit Learning community's stories and ideas into great content that informs and inspires a range of audiences. Prior to joining Summit Public Schools, Lauren was a professional freelance writer and third-grade teacher in Rhode Island. She earned her MEd from the University of Rhode Island and BA in English from Elon University.