As we move forward to the 2018 school year, our Without Limits Sponsorship team is looking into what changes we can make in the program to improve quality both for our students and for long-term sustainability.
After reviewing end of the year report cards last year and meeting with almost all of our students, we have decided to put a new requirement in place. In Nicaragua, the grading scale is a little different and 60% and below is considered failing. Many of our students and their families do not care what their grades are as long as they are passing every class. While we push students individually to try their best, we have decided to set a program-wide average that students must reach to stay in sponsorship. Students will be required to reach a 75% average between all of their classes. While we will not cut a student who is doing everything he/she can to pass including staying after, completing all homework, and attending tutoring, we are taking this new requirement seriously and will be evaluating all of our students after the first grading period.
With this new requirement, I am excited about a new approach we are taking with individual student tutoring especially in Candelaria. We have a lot of older students who are incredible. Many of these students are currently in university or are about to start university. We have grouped students together and assigned them a specific tutor. The older students will meet with them at least once a week and check in on them in school. This plan gives accountability to more students and better one-on-one tutoring. I am looking forward to involving more local participation in our growing program.
Without Limits leans heavily on mentorship and accountability. As we surround our students with good examples and people who believe in them, we know that they can achieve big things. By expanding our base of mentors, we are able to reach more students’ individual needs. I am so thankful to have amazing older students who hope for more for themselves, their community, and these students.