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The Value of Fellows as Mentors

May. 15, 2018
The Value of Fellows as Mentors

In Denver, we work to support the academic and personal growth of our students through a focus on the whole child. As part of Denver Public Schools, the Denver Fellows work with small groups of students (2-4 students per period) on a daily basis. This provides fellows with a unique opportunity to ensure students receive individualized instruction and mentoring.

We know it is important that our students expect to be held to high expectations in our math and literacy labs, and that they are provided with the support to meet those expectations in a caring environment. Creating a sense of belonging helps to increase motivation in a space where students feel comfortable working on material that is challenging.

One way we assess the quality of our mentoring is through a Student Perception Survey which is completed by all of our students on an annual basis. We ask students about their experience with their fellow and in the program. We surveyed 1,259 students during the 2017-2018 school year and received ratings of 90% favorable or higher on 9 out of 12 of these indicators. Here are three of the questions that received a 90% favorable or higher rating:

  • I can learn everything taught in math or literacy lab if I try hard
  • My fellow encourages me to work hard and try my best
  • I believe my fellow cares about me

The relationships we build with our students and families directly impact their success in school. Being able to create a structured and predictable space for our kids to learn and feel cared for is one of the most important ways we work to support both academic and social-emotional development.

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