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Berkeley County School District, Moncks Corner, South Carolina

Challenge: In 2009, Berkeley County School District had a 67.3 percent graduation rate as students struggled with truancy, discipline and falling behind grade level.

Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Indiana

Challenge: The need for an evidence-based language acquisition program grew as the population of English language learners increased to 25 percent.

Valley View ISD, Pharr, Texas

Challenge: The cultural and linguistic skills of bilingual learners needed to be addressed, with more than 60 percent of students identified as English language learners and 90 percent deemed economically disadvantaged.

West Plains R-VII School District, West Plains, Missouri

Challenge: Some students in Howell County, the third- poorest in Missouri, live in houses without mattresses, window glass, heat or food. Others live in cheap motels and shelters, and eat only when fed at school.

Laurens County School District 55, Laurens, South Carolina

Challenge: After extensive research, the rural district determined that students needed more development in the area of soft skills and more exposure to cultural elements from outside the area.

From Ambition to Tradition

A high school counselor in the Amarillo ISD, of which 70 percent of the student population cannot afford to attend college, set a goal for every student in Caprock High School’s senior class to apply to at least one college before graduating.

Equity for English Language Learners

When administrators at Harrisonburg City Public Schools saw performance gaps between ELL and non-ELL students in 2012, they started a dual-language (English and Spanish) kindergarten classroom.

Husky Strong Academy

By 2015-16, 33 percent of Hillcrest High School students in grades 9 and 10 weren’t on track to graduate and 45 percent of freshmen were below grade level in reading and math.

We’re All In This Together

Coffeyville Public Schools, a high-poverty district with diverse needs, formed the Coffeyville Coalition of Early Education to change the cycle of poverty. Designed to sustain and improve early childhood in the district, the coalition is led by Superintendent Craig Correll as chairman and includes representatives from a community college and a local bank.

The district also works with Head Start, Four County Mental Health, Tri County Special Education and Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas to support the learning center.

ELL Writers Hit the Target

Having students achieve reading fluency by the end of third grade is an important goal for the Schaumburg School District in Illinois—and that also includes ELLs.