WOODLAND — Woodland High School’s Positive Academic Support System spotlighted its graduates in a special ceremony before this year’s commencement. The Positive Academic Support System program, started in 2019, targets struggling students and assigns staff members who help the students by offering whatever support they need to get back on track.
Cyndy Grayson, a Positive Academic Support System mentor, remembers the team trying to figure out exactly how the program would operate during its first year.
“We learned that PASS is not about how students have failing grades; it’s about why our students have failing grades,” she said. “Students’ lives outside of school can have bigger impacts on their studies and academic success than anything that happens inside the classroom.”
Positive Academic Support System mentors learned that breaking through a struggling student’s barriers provides the key to the student’s success at school. Sometimes just helping a student have some food for breakfast each day can provide the extra edge they need to succeed.
“Studies show that hunger can have a dramatic negative impact on student learning,” Grayson said. “We make sure our students have eaten every morning and get a good night’s sleep so they concentrate on their studies.”
Students in the Positive Academic Support System receive assistance with homework as well as encouragement to continue working hard and training in ways to become self-advocates, working with their teachers to help find the support needed to succeed.