“We are one town, one team with one dream–EVERYONE graduates!”
In January of 2014, Roy Cone Administrators presented a plan to their community partners to prepare a multitude of diverse students for success.
The Roy Cone is a network of 11 schools (five are Title I elementary schools), with more than 8,000 students in the Weber School District. The Roy Cone student demographic make-up is as follows: 25% are minorities, 32% are low income, 51% receive free and reduced lunch, 14% have disabilities, and 5% have limited English proficiency.
The Roy Cone adopted the goals of Prosperity 2020 to increase reading and math proficiency, and improve high school graduation rates. By implementing strategies that work for their community, they demonstrate their commitment to preparing students for college and their career.
Prosperity 2020 has enabled education leaders in the Roy Cone to provide the following:
• Full-day kindergarten
• Reduce failure rates
• Visit students’ homes
• Perform truancy interventions
• Provide College and Career Readiness counselors
• Increase teacher accountability and development
Prior to the Prosperity 2020 initiative, which began in January 2014, the Roy Cone reported a 71.6% average cohort graduation rate with 26% dropout rate and only 73% of 3rd graders were proficient in reading. Four of the elementary schools were without full-day kindergarten.
Outstanding successes include:
• Reading proficiency among elementary students has increased by 8% to 74%
• The average growth in math proficiency in 3rd graders compared to the start of the year was 106%
• This year 60% of seniors applied to at least one college or trade school
• The senior class graduation rate for 2015 was 95%
Can the Roy Cone ‘secret sauce’ be reformulated to create successes in any of the other 150+ high school networks in Utah?
Prosperity 2020 Chair Alan Hall thinks so. He noted that Principal Gina Butters is a visionary executive, her leadership skills are a key ingredient to the success. She and other educators were empowered with the authority to develop a plan to meet the goals for improved education outcomes. Other key ingredients are the partnerships and resources aligned around strategies to support goals. Mr. Hall donated private funds and advocated for matching public funds that are providing crucial resources for the implementation of the initiatives. The community provided many volunteer hours tutoring students.