Regents Scores Up for At-risk Teens at The Family Foundation School

February 08, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
The average U.S. History Regents score jumped to 86.25, up a whopping six points, at The Family Foundation School, a New York high school for at-risk teens. Two enterprising history teachers and the concerted effort by the students were responsible for the exceptional results.

Discouraged by lower-than-average scores a year ago, history department chairman Jason Garnar and instructor Scott Cole developed their own Regents prep course and study aids, and conducted weekly review sessions for the problem teens, many of whom arrived at the school as academic underachievers with serious drug, alcohol, or behavioral issues.

The teachers tested their prep course prior to the June 2009 exams and refined it for the 24 students slated to sit for the exam in January 2010. The students' final scores ranged from 70 to 98, an average 6 points higher than the test scores a year ago.

Garnar and Cole incorporated questions and themes from past Regents exams into the fall semester curriculum, as well as the weekly review sessions. "We knew we could increase the multiple choice scores, and wanted to figure out a way to improve the essays," said Cole. And they did. The essay scores went up half a point. "That's a big leap on a Regents exam," he said.

The therapeutic boarding school provides more than 100 troubled teens with an integrated program of rigorous academics, daily therapeutic counseling, and character education based on the 12 Steps of recovery. For the past six years, virtually all FFS graduates have gone on to college.