Trinity at McCormack Middle School (Trinity@McCormack)

The Model

Trinity Boston Foundation’s Integrated School-Based Model, called “Trinity@McCormack,” is a community-wide, systemic response that fosters collaboration between caring adults to increase student attendance. When families, schools and community-based organizations work together to make school a safe, supportive and fulfilling place to be, attendance rates improve.

The Foundation’s proven program components, Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP), Trinity Boston Counseling Center (TBCC), and Sole Train: Boston Runs Together are packaged as a single wrap-around, on-site service embedded and delivered at the McCormack Middle School, a targeted ‘turnaround’ Boston Public middle school.

This model seeks to impact both the student and the overall health of the school by engaging students on our caseload, partnering with teachers and administration, and joining with other school partners such as City Year.

How it WorksB ListIMG_0177

Merging two proven models—Trinity Boston Counseling Center’s embedded clinician model and TRUST Project’s Life Success Coach mentorship model—the Foundation has placed two Life Success Coaches, one clinician and one clinical manager at the McCormack. Working in close partnership with the school principal and staff, this team engages a caseload of nearly 60 students identified as having chronic challenges with school attendance and being at high-risk for dropping out of school. With Year 1 of the pilot completed, attendance is up and behavioral incidents are down among many students involved with the Trinity@DMC program. We have a Sole Train team with 15 students and “Old Sole” adults from the McCormack, Trinity, and City Year communities. In the summer of 2014, TEEP accepted students from the McCormack middle school to join the TEEP summer program. They joined a rising class of promising 6th graders and embarked on a summer full of learning, fun, and character development. They and their classmates will return to TEEP throughout the year for overnight sessions led by their high school counselors.

The A-B-C’s of Achievement

Specific goals are driven primarily by the school’s A-B-C Framework:

– Increase student attendance rates at school including annual attendance rates, average number of days absent, number of unexcused absences, and overall retention rates.
– We track major behavioral incidents among the students served by the Life Success Coaches and Sole Train teams. Early learning indicates that improvements in behavior precede change in the areas of attendance and coursework.
– Ultimately, with improvements in behavior and attendance, Trinity Boston Foundation expects to see progress in coursework. As students experience success, they drive toward high school graduation and the opportunities beyond.

Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

School was not always the safest place for me, I started getting bullied in the second grade…There have been times I have felt like giving up on school, like it’s too much, like I can’t repair all the relationships I have broken, but the Trinity@McCormack program has helped me a lot. In moments when I have felt frustrated, I have learned to take a step back and to think about what I want to say and do before responding. I found a safe community of people within the school that care about my experience and that are willing to help me come up with solutions for our problems without fighting. I have burned a lot of bridges, but this program is helping me build them again and it is letting me see a different side of myself that I had forgotten was there.Alisandra, 8th grader at McCormack Middle School