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Accessing School

Teaching Struggling Readers to Achieve Academic and Personal Success

By Jim Burke
Foreword by Kylene Beers

How can we make academic literacy available to every student? Jim answers this question by detailing ACCESS, a program for struggling students—a program where 70 percent of incoming ninth graders go to college.

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This book, though focused on one teacher in one school with one group of students, shows all teachers what can be accomplished. While the collective voice gives us community, it is the individual voice that gives us strength. Jim's voice gives us much strength, much strength indeed.
—Kylene Beers, author of When Kids Can't Read—What Teachers Can Do

How can we make the tools and habits of academic literacy available to every student? Jim Burke answered this question by creating ACCESS, a program for struggling students he began five years ago at Burlingame High School—a program where seventy percent of incoming ninth graders go on to college. In ACCESSing School, Burke examines academic success initiatives around the country, identifying their key components, then detailing how their practices apply to ACCESS so that you can adapt its principles to meet your school's unique needs.

ACCESSing School offers a reading-intensive alternative to ineffective remedial courses. It synthesizes the findings of recent studies with both the insight Jim has gleaned from teaching ACCESS classes and the "Four Cs of Academic Success" he identified in School Smarts. ACCESSing School offers a model for all schools, complete with:

  • specific, practical elements of Jim's ACCESS program
  • the actual documents he and his district use to select students for ACCESS
  • the research that supports its principles and practices
  • the ways in which ACCESS addresses specific challenges such as gender, reading problems, and chronic academic failure
  • inspiring stories of the program's many successes and an honest examination of its challenges.

How can you help every student learn to "do school?" By providing an opportunity for them to acquire the habits, motivation, and language they need in a curriculum that is structured and experiential, guided but flexible, personally meaningful but academically effective. How do you take the first step? By reading ACCESSing School, and discovering more about the ideas and practices that can help your students succeed both in school and after graduation.

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Contents

  1. Prologue
  2. Introduction-The Traits of Effective Academic Success Programs
  3. ACCESS-A Program Overview
  4. Curriculum
  5. Opportunities
  6. Students
  7. Teachers
  8. Epilogue

Works Cited

Samples

Companion Resources

Related PD Services

Seminars

Speakers

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Jim Burke directly about professional development support.