Antonio is a bright, dual-sport student athlete entering his final year of middle school in Cumberland County. Antonio was initially referred to CIS because of his behavior in the classroom. He was at school on time every day but struggled to pay attention. He lacked the motivation or the discipline to focus on his schoolwork.  Instead, he preferred to talk and joke with his peers, disrupting learning for other students. 

Antonio met his Student Support Specialist (SSS) Mr. Ashford in seventh grade. Mr. Ashford began working with Antonio to figure out why he wasn’t applying himself in the classroom. He soon found that Antiono was a very bright student but needed more one-on-one support. They began discussing new ways to engage him in the classroom and set academic success and behavior goals for Antiono to achieve. These goals included improving his grades, participating in class, and finding new ways to express himself.

Mr. Ashford not only serves as his SSS, but also as his wrestling coach. That gives him the opportunity to mentor Antonio in the classroom and on the mat. Antonio was always a very skilled and gifted athlete.  Mr. Ashford needed to find a way to bring the same confidence he had on the mat into the classroom.

After a few months of working with Antonio in a one-on-one setting and providing small group supports, Mr. Ashford noticed a difference in Antonio’s behavior. Instead of creating a scene in the classroom, Antonio used conflict resolution skills he learned from Mr. Ashford. He would take responsibility for his actions and began to apologize to both his teachers and classmates when he realized he was wrong. His leadership skills improved, and he was soon named captain of the wrestling team, leading to an undefeated season against competitors that were a grade above him. 

This school year, Mr. Ashford plans to continue to support Antonio, reminding him of intervention strategies such as one-on-one discussions, small group forums, and the short-term goals that were set during the last school year. With the ongoing support and guidance of Mr. Ashford and his teachers, Antonio will continue to achieve in the classroom and on the wrestling mat, and look forward to his continued growth in the 2023-2024 school year! 

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