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Why OnTrack Greenville Matters

What's preventing every student in Greenville from graduating high school?

Research by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago identified an undisputable connection between middle grades indicators and high school completion. The studies have shown that sixth graders who fail math or English/reading, attend school less than 80 percent of the time, or received a poor final behavior grade in a core course have only a 10 to 20 percent chance of graduating on time.

OnTrack Greenville is grounded in this research and follows a straightforward theory of change: Match the right students to the right interventions at the right time to create a pathway to success in school and life. It is a whole-child approach using an innovative evidence-based dropout prevention and school transformation model designed to systematically address the challenges students face.

I have been amazed by OnTrack. It is the most impressive school initiative that I have ever been a part of.

– Jay Grady, Assistant Principal, Tanglewood Middle School

OnTrack Greenville is focused in high need middle schools in Greenville, SC in a section of the community where poverty is so high, that 100% of the students attending these schools are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch. Educational attainment is extremely low in this area, and while graduation rates in this low wealth community have improved dramatically over the last five years; there are still students not reaching the goal of high school graduation.

Although Greenville and the South boast centers of fast growth, technological innovation, and educational excellence, we still face some of the nation's highest poverty rates and lowest rates of economic mobility. Additionally, high school graduates earn a national average of $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts, make a higher taxable income, and are more likely to be employed and aid in job generation.

High School Graduation Economic Impact Graphic

In Greenville, S.C., a child born to parents in the bottom quintile of the income distribution has a nearly 70 percent chance of staying in the bottom two quintiles. Therefore, high school graduation is more than a milestone, it is expressly linked to economic mobility. 

Given the importance of education in economic mobility, and our knowledge that the middle grades are the "make it or break it" years, wherein some students begin to disengage from school, and the likelihood they will drop out increases, OnTrack Greenville is the solution that addresses these complex issues.