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Re-Enrolled Student Project (RSP)

The Re-Enrolled Student Project (RSP) is a collaboration between The Alternative Schools Network (ASN) and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). RSP provides expanded academic and wraparound services to over 450 out-of-school teens annually through programs centered in community-based alternative high schools across Chicago.  

RSP focuses on getting students re-enrolled and supporting them in every way possible as they attain their high school diploma and continue their studies at a college level or place into a job. 

The RSP project is designed to be a partnership between ASN and ICCB, together with its member schools, working with the collective mission of keeping students encouraged, engaged and enrolled.

About RSP

Nineteen community-based alternative high schools are currently participating in the Re-Enrolled Student Project (RSP). Schools participating in RSP are all actively involved in the communities they reside in and strive to inspire and empower young men and women to make a positive impact on their own community and the greater global society.

Through RSP, these neighborhood schools, working side-by-side with partnership community organizations, benefit the community greatly by building leaders from within. RSP programs motivate and encourage students to analyze real social issues and concerns impacting them on a daily basis and provide them with the tools and skills to do so. Providing improved and expanded educational opportunities, RSP helps at-risk students become contributing members of society – rather than statistics. Everyone benefits from that.

The success of RSP is due largely to the efforts of these schools to reach out and locate out-of-school teens in their community, get them re-enrolled and provide a consistently safe and structured learning environment where students can focus. RSP students are mostly inner-city youth and come from a variety of backgrounds. They are unique in their needs, as many have experienced or been directly affected by violence, economic hardship, contact with the justice system, discrimination, childcare issues and numerous other barriers to learning.

RSP helps to knock down these barriers by supporting the schools in developing high-quality educational programs and activities that minimize anxiety and maximize learning potential. Each school evaluates the needs of their unique incoming student body, utilizes research and data from previous years and develops programs specifically geared toward keeping their students encouraged, engaged and enrolled in school.

RSP Programs

Through RSP, ASN works with schools to understand barriers to education and identify opportunities to change reluctant learners into lifelong achievers. RSP programs prepare students for college or vocational technical training, create highly skilled workers and help to build strong communities. Students learn to embrace lifelong learning and self-motivation through successes.

In addition to the regular school year, RSP encourages all schools to develop a summer program for their students. This is an effort to keep track of and “keep our arms around” the RSP participants to ensure their successful return for the following school year, as well as keeping them engaged in a positive space during the summer months.

RSP champions academic growth and personal achievement through programs that develop critical thinking skills, strengthen language and mathematics competencies and promote communication and cooperation. Students gain verbal skills and learn problem-solving techniques through group projects and experiential activities that facilitate the development of individual strengths and leadership styles.

As each school designs their own unique program, here are some of the ways that RSP can help them enhance their academic programs and student services:

Keeping Students Encouraged
  • Mentors and Student Advocates
    • Representing and advocating for individual students by providing one-on-one support and counseling; helping with attendance problems and social issues; recommending methods for improving time management and goal setting skills. 
  • Behavioral Specialists
    • Offering preventive counseling and crisis interventions to help students with relevant concerns such as teen parenting, homelessness and involvement with the judicial system.
  • Substance Abuse Education
    • Teaching students to recognize behaviors and negative influences that intensify alcohol and drug use and addiction issues and helping them learn to establish healthy coping strategies. 
  • Social and Emotional Learning
    • Helping students learn methods to improve communication, problem-solving skills and conflict resolution tactics through programs that build self-esteem, positive socialization skills and character development.
  • Health and Wellness Initiatives
    • Promoting healthy lifestyle choices through nutrition classes, culinary education, health screenings and gym memberships.
  • Preparing for the Future
    • Steering students toward a positive future by providing college and technical school tours; resume preparation, interview attire and transportation to Job Fairs; workshops on college admission requirements, applications, scholarship essay completion and financial aid; testing fees (ACT, SAT, etc.).
Keeping Students Engaged
  • Student Leadership Activities
    • Nurturing and encouraging strong future community leaders through student councils, student government elections, peer mediation initiatives, volunteerism, civic and community involvement.
  • Field Studies and Research Outings
    • Boosting in-class learning with expeditions and hands-on fieldwork in various disciplines such as environmental, architectural, business and scientific studies.
  • Cultural Activities
    • Enriching the lives of students with education and exposure to unique and memorable cultural and multicultural experiences such as theatre performances, trips to museums and community activism events.
  • Technology Enhancements
    • Developing strong independent study habits, research and technical skills with the addition of computer labs, on-site coordinators and virtual classes to supplement needed credits.
  • Teambuilding Exercises
    • Teaching responsibility, real world economics and developing self-esteem through experiential education group projects such as a developing a small for-profit business or creating a plan to locate, purchase and deliver fresh foods to students living in urban “food deserts.”
Keeping Students Enrolled
  • Tutoring Programs
    • Improving grades and learning techniques; keeping students connected and safe during the afterschool hours with tutoring and peer tutoring programs.
  • Professional Development for Teachers
    • Exploring new teaching strategies, improving lesson plans and increasing teachers’ abilities to analyze individual student’s needs and take effective proactive steps to address them.
  • Expansion of Early Assessments
    • Helping to target placement of students in appropriate classes and supplemental learning activities to ensure success in school.
  • Outreach Coordinators
    • Reaching out to students and families to help navigate the challenges and celebrate the successes of the student via home visits, frequent phone calls and other support activities.
  • Additional Teachers
    • Supplementing the teaching staff to improve student-teacher ratios and provide a more hands-on approach; adding specialists/master teachers in specific areas of needed improvement such as Reading and Math.
  • Emergency Funds
    • Keeping students in school by providing emergency funds for issues such as safe transportation to and from school, clothing needs and even food when necessary.
  • Graduations
    • Recognizing the accomplishments of the student and the school and commemorating this major milestone with graduation ceremonies, educational awards and senior events.
Participating Schools

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