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"I can honestly say that the ALAS intervention model has been a BREATH of FRESH AIR and has been very effective in addressing the core issues by providing frequent feedback to parents, teachers, as well as students.

I have been a school psychologist for the past 10 years and have had the opportunity to work with many students and families within the low to high socio-economic level. I have seen, first hand, how learning and social-emotional challenges impact teachers, students, and their caregivers. Although, schools take students' cultural, linguistics, and other factors that may be impacting their educational performance into consideration, the fact is that some important elements such as resilience, parent coaching and empowerment, to mention a few, are not focused on.

This type of approach addresses the heart of the matter and is imperative to students and families with challenges, as it teaches and reinforces adaptive behaviors that would help them become more successful at school and in life.

I have personally seen students become more confident and assertive and as a result begin to put more effort in their school work, become more active participants in their learning, and produce more work in class.

A byproduct of this type of improvement is happier teachers who feel that they can make a difference in a child's life, as well as happier parents who then are less stressed and more empowered to help their child continue on the path of success.

The ALAS model creates lasting effects by teaching LIFE SKILLS. This intervention model is simply a MUST for every school. "

Annet Goodside
Glendale Unified School District

"The results of implementing ALAS were phenomenal! By the end of the first semester, my ALAS students with multiple risk factors for dropout were outperforming their peers by leaps and bounds, a testament to the impact student engagement has on secondary achievement. Using California state test data, the ALAS students gained an average of 26 points in language arts while the comparison group who did not receive ALAS interventions (but did receive a special class) improved on average less than 15 points.

As a Title I and ELD specialist at a comprehensive high school in the summer of 2007, I discovered that about 20% of our incoming ninth grade students had been chronically failing before they began their four years with us. I realized that our students needed comprehensive support that would ensure their success. I researched several programs for weeks until I found the ALAS program in the What Works Clearinghouse.

With the support of Magda Neil and Dr. Larson, I was able to implement a modified version of ALAS at my high school by realigning my categorical budgets and other services to better meet the needs of our students. The program has proved to be invaluable to our school and students.

In addition, the staff was so impacted by the change that it has evolved into a school wide program. Now, two years in, we have spent time in the middle schools working to identify those students even earlier, and invite them to visit and become a part of our high school family creating positive relationships well before they attend a single class! Systems are being created that will allow us to sustain this positive turn. Teachers are collaborating with colleagues, students and parents in order to ensure that their success is lasting.

ALAS has empowered students. The ALAS group of students learned how to advocate for themselves and solve the problems that were plaguing their academic performance.

ALAS has energized the staff so much that it has really has taken on a life of its own. They are creating a mentoring program for the adult staff to support the identified students, training the older students to become peer leaders including the original ALAS students who are entering the eleventh grade this year, and restructuring the master schedule to better meet the needs of the students."

Tanya Stoddard, M.Ed.
Title I / ELD Specialist
Hoover High School
Glendale, CA

"As an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years, I have seen many programs come and go in regards to at risk students.

Last year two of my students participated in the ALAS program.

It was amazing to see the growth of these two children in both behavior and academics.

I feel the ALAS program provides At Risk children with tools that they can use to both cope with and solve problems."

Kent Birtle, M.A.

"As Principal at Hoover High School for the past 10 years, I can analyze and discuss the efficacy of intervention programs from both a broad and focused perspective.

In a recent Educational Leadership article, Tufts researcher and Dean, Robert Sternberg, offers educators the new 'Three R's'--reasoning, responsibility, and resilience.

The ALAS comprehensive model addresses this new thought for challenged students in the 21st Century.

The ALAS intervention model has been implemented at Hoover for the past two years and the contexts of all the issues facing at-risk students has now become imbedded within our school culture. At Hoover, there is a strong concern for the disengaged student. Our Faculty demonstrated grit and courage by openly discussing this most difficult issue.

The ALAS model offers hope in that it involves not only the school piece, but the family and larger community aspects as well.

The new '3 R's' are integrated into the ALAS model, as problem-solving, critical thinking, parental empowerment, and positive discipline strategies become the basis for effective academic and emotional support.

ALAS makes a difference in kids' lives and it is so stimulating and uplifting to see students in time exclaim 'Yes We Can!' as a part of their daily experience and not as a mere slogan."

Kevin E. Welsh
Principal, Hoover High School

"The ALAS model has a holistic approach to reaching students at risk of dropping out of school. It has been used with several of my students over the years by Magda Neil, our school counselor with positive results. I find my students happier and more engaged in school with this program."

Pat Proudman
Teacher Glendale Unified School District

"I had the opportunity to apply the ALAS intervention techniques with a group of at-risk 9th grade freshman while working as a Counseling Intern in a large public high school in California. The targeted group of students either did not promote from the 8th grade or were determined to be at high risk of dropout.

Some students needed less intense intervention such as a personalized weekly progress check-up to remain on track while other students needed more intense tracking, such as daily or period-by-period attendance monitoring. Frequent calls home and parent consultation were also imperative in getting the results we wanted.

A benefit of using the ALAS intervention was noticed in the change in behavior pattern of these students.

By the end of the first semester a great number of students receiving the intervention had improved their grades in one or more classes and their attendance and behavior had improved.

Without this help, some of the students, whom others had given up on, would have continued down a path that would make their futures difficult at best, bleak and dangerous at worst.

I also noticed that teachers were very satisfied with the intervention and the parents reported that at home they were having better communication with their youth."

Craig Rozdilsky
School Counselor and MFT Intern
California State University, Northridge

"I have observed the ALAS program as it was implemented at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center. This program has been an important part of the education of at-risk students. I have seen children acquire motivation and a "I can do" attitude towards completion of goals. This is developed over time with counseling, monitoring of attendance and parent involvement. Children who have participated in this program changed their own perception of learning and with support have become active participants of their own education."

Anarosa F. Estevez
Elementary Education Administrator
Vaughn Next Century Learning Center

"For the past decade, I have used ALAS strategies at the elementary, middle and high school level. I work with high-risk students, English language learners and students with learning and behavior disabilities. Most of the students I work with live in high poverty and high crime neighborhoods, and many come from struggling families or immigrant families in the Los Angeles area.

I find remarkable success with these highest-risk students. School data show significant improvement in grades, referrals and attendance. Parents become engaged and teachers report real satisfaction with the ALAS support. The ALAS model of having school staff work comprehensively with parents, community, teachers and the students is incredibly powerful in building capacity at the school level and resilience in the student.

The ALAS strategies and the ALAS model gives my high-risk students the support and skills they need to succeed in school and in life! I highly recommend this approach. I've seen it work miracles."

Magda Neil, M.S.
Counseling Instructor
Calif. State University Northridge
Counselor/Consultant for Los Angeles Area Schools

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