How More Meetings Might Be The Secret To Fixing High School

The BARR model, for "Building Assets, Reducing Risks," has serious evidence backing it up as a solution for real improvements in student success.
Tjessa Arradando in her advanced English class. Source: Elissa Nadworny

The week before winter break, snow is piled up around St. Louis Park High School, a low-slung, rambling brick complex in suburban Minneapolis. And more snow is falling.

This is a big, diverse school with proud roots. Alumni include Joel and Ethan Coen, who shot their semiautobiographical 2009 drama, A Serious Man, in this area, once a Jewish enclave, which today has immigrants from all over the world.

But in 1998, when Angela Jerabek was a school counselor for freshmen here, she was "discouraged." For five years running, about half the ninth-grade students had been failing at least one course.

"I went to the principal to say, 'I don't think I'm doing this job well and I feel like I should resign.' " Her

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