Lessons with Dr. Nate Pietrini and Yolanda Luna-Mroz
This episode features a conversation with Nate Pietrini and Yolanda Luna-Mroz from High Jump, a 30-year-old academic enrichment program offered to high achieving but under-resourced students in Chicago. Nate is a former teacher and principal, and now High Jump’s Executive Director. Yolanda is Chief Programs Officer, having also been an educator and school leader. Both are working to expand High Jump’s programming to more students in the middle grades to support their learning and development and better prepare them for the transition into high school, which a great many students find hard to do well.
Nate, Yolanda and Jason talk about the history and evolution of High Jump, how it blends academic enrichment and support with social and emotional skill development and self exploration, specific programming to help students prepare for the transition to high school, the various ways High Jump measures success, both near-term and long-term and both academic and social and emotional development, and the value programs like High Jump play in the emerging Covid-recovery and eventually post-Covid landscape.
Additional Readings and Resources
- High Jump
- Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Decatur Classical School
- Blue Ribbon
- “Free to Fail or On-Track to College: Why Grades Drop When Students Enter High School and What Adults Can Do About It,” Rosenkranz, et al., University of Chicago Consortium for Chicago School Research, April 2014
Remaking Middle School is launching a Middle School Listening Tour! If you are a parent, teacher, administrator, youth development professional, policy maker, or youth advocate of middle grade students, we would love to hear from you. Please visit http://RemakingMiddleSchool.org and click “Sign Up” for the Listening Tour.