Pontotoc Middle School and Three Rivers Planning and Development District

Duration of partnership: 1 year
12 volunteers
Impacts 58 students

This partnership between Pontotoc Middle School (PMS) and Three Rivers Planning and Development District (TRPDD) was formed in July of 2011. The idea was born out of the desire for the schools in the northern region of the state to obtain or maintain a higher than average quality of education. The strength of the partnership was enhanced because this was a common goal for each entity involved. Pontotoc City School District has established a reputation as being a district that desires to provide the taxpayers a great return on their investment by developing students into thriving citizens. This goal was going to be accomplished by focusing enrichment efforts toward a specific group of students. Students that scored in the “proficient” category were selected. The idea was that additional enrichment would help these students reach the “advanced” level.
 
The Performance Enrichment Program (PEP) started at Pontotoc Middle School with collaboration between the partners to find a community member to lead the program. This did not take long. Once the leader was secured, a school liaison was selected. This proved to be a formidable team. Timelines were established and criteria identified to get the program up and running. The community leader searched for enrichment tutors. He conducted interviews with the high school principal and counselors. Several potential candidates were chosen and screened by both the community leader and TRPDD. This process produced six enrichment tutors to provide direct instruction to PMS students.
 
During the interview process conducted by the community leader the school liaison was busy wading through test scores in order to select potential students based on Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 (MCT2) scores. Once the list was compiled, parents were contacted and a parent meeting held. The excitement increased as all involved began to understand the impact this program could have on students. The community leader and school liaison worked together to place enrichment students with the best tutor to meet their needs. Placement was based on data identifying if students needed additional enrichment in math or language arts. The students were then paired with a tutor that had strengths in the needed area.
 
This afterschool enrichment program involved 58 PMS students. The afternoon started with the students gathering in the cafeteria for snacks. The school liaison distributed snacks and monitored this process to make sure the tutors picked their group up in a timely manner. The community leader monitored groups and parent pick-up at the end of each day. The program took place four afternoons a week. Attendance records indicated students did not want to miss the program. Parent involvement was vital. Without the parents believing in what was happening with their students, they would not have stuck with the commitment to pick their children up at 4:45 four days out of the week.
 
The program lasted twelve weeks. Parent and student surveys were developed and distributed. Data from these surveys indicated overwhelming positive results. Comments stated by parents indicated the desire for the program to be longer in time per day and time per semester. The enrichment tutors have expressed their pleasure in watching students grow and develop. As a matter of fact, some of the tutors have decided to major in education as a result of their participation in the program. Student performance data indicated growth on 94% of participants. In addition, other parents have called to request their child be put on the list for the program in the future.
 
Activities
 
Performance Enrichment Program (12-week after-school program) produced six enrichment tutors to provide direct instruction to PMS students, who were identified based potential based on MCT2 scores.  Community leader and school liaison worked together to place enrichment students with the best tutors to meet their needs.
 
Results
 
Students who participated in the program demonstrated increased scores on school wide common assessments. Overall 94% of students showed improvement from September to December. Some students displayed significant improvement. At least three of the tutors, who will be college freshman in the fall of 2012, have indicated that they will be majoring in education.