Raider Freshman Success Center
Harrison High School Raider Success Program
The Raider Success program strives to improve students' ability to be academically successful in a highly competitive school environment during their freshman year and each year after. It is designed to provide a positive and supportive environment that eases the transition from middle school to high school. Our goal is to prepare students for success in high school and beyond.
One of the greatest benefits of the Raider Success Center (RSC) is its size. Despite the fact that Harrison is a large high school, the students in the RSC are provided a “small school” experience. The teachers strive to create a family-like environment, where each student is well-known by all teachers in the Raider Success program. While there might be 30 or more students in a class inside Harrison’s main building, Raider Success class sizes vary from 15-20 students each. Because of our smaller class sizes, there are increased opportunities for one-on-one and small group instruction.
Another great benefit of the Raider Success program is algebra and English lab classes. Students are enrolled in an additional class period with the same teacher which allows for extra instruction time, supplemental activities, one-on-one help, homework completion, and study and organizational skills. Students receive a grade and an elective credit for each of these lab classes.
Harrison’s Raider Success team of teachers are dedicated to helping students be successful during their first year of high school. They strive to ensure that students are prepared for lifelong learning and success in the future.
The Raider Success Program is...
- a program designed to help students transition to high school and establish good study habits and organizational skills.
- a program for students with average or higher academic abilities.
- a program that offers smaller class sizes for additional academic support from dedicated teachers.
- a program that will prepare students for a Core40 or Academic Honors Diploma.
Raider Success is different because...
- it offers a smaller building and smaller class sizes with a student to teacher ratio of 20 to 1 or less which allows for small group instruction and individual attention.
- students are enrolled in algebra & language arts labs that provide time to complete work in class and receive supplemental instruction.
- teachers place emphasis on developing good organizational, time management, and study skills in all classes.
- students work with a dedicated team of teachers who meet daily to discuss and meet students’ needs and plan together to ensure formal assessments and large projects are scheduled on different days.
Benefits of the Raider Success Program:
- Academic concentration in core subjects to improve performance in the classroom and on standardized tests
- A supportive environment where teachers, administrators, and counselors take a team approach to solving problems that hinder academic success
- Prepares students for transition into the main building after one year in the program
- Prepares students for academic success and graduation with a Core40 diploma or higher
Raider Freshmen Success Courses:
- English 9
- Language Arts Lab
- Algebra I
- Algebra Lab
- Earth and Space Science
- Preparing for College and Careers (Fall)
- Human Development (Spring)
- One elective course of the student’s choice each semester (in Harrison’s main building)
Raider Success FAQ
Q: Does Raider Success use a remedial curriculum?
A: No. Raider Success teachers use the same rigorous curriculum as other Harrison High School teachers. Students are prepared for any of Harrison’s academic “tracks” and diplomas.
Q: Is my child being placed in the Raider Success program because of discipline issues?
A: No. Students with serious disciplinary records are discouraged from placement in the program. Exceptions occur when students have the potential to acclimate to and benefit from the program.
Q: Why was my child chosen for the program?
A: Your student’s middle school staff recommended placement in Raider Success. They base this decision on many criteria, which include, but are not limited to: middle school grades, standardized test scores, organizational skills, attendance, focus in the classroom, assignment completion, and ability to follow instructions. Upon recommendation, the Raider Success team reviews the student’s records to determine whether the student matches the program criteria. Students who commonly benefit from placement in Raider Success include those with academic or social anxiety, gaps in education, lack of organizational skills, lack of self-motivation, and those who are less independent than their peers. These students typically benefit from smaller class sizes and additional in-class work time.
Q: Will my child have social difficulties being in the Raider Success Center?
A: Being placed in the RSC should not create any social difficulties beyond what is normal for freshman students. Raider Success students take a 1st-period elective class in the main building with the rest of Harrison’s student body. Additionally, Raider Success students eat lunch in the main building cafeteria with their peers. Raider Success students are able and encouraged to participate in Harrison’s many clubs, sports, and other activities. Based on the testimonies of a number of former Raider Success students, social difficulties were not an issue.
Q: Will my child still be able to participate in sports or activities?
A: Yes. Many current and former Raider Success students participate in sports and extracurricular activities. In fact, since maintaining grades is important when playing sports, the benefits provided by the Raider Success program can be invaluable to athletes.
Q: Will my child still be able to maintain his/her friendships?
A: In a school of 2000+ students, the number of classes and lunch periods make it unlikely that any two students will have similar schedules. Therefore, Raider Success students are just as likely as other students to make and maintain friendships during high school.
Q: Can Raider Success students earn an honors diploma?
A: Yes. In fact, since students can earn 2 lab credits each semester, they could be at an advantage in later years when taking classes to satisfy the honors diploma.
Student and Parent Testimonials
Testimonials From Raider Success Parents
How do you feel about the Raider Success program now that your student has been through it?
“I am very happy to say my daughter wouldn't have the confidence she has now if it wasn't for the Raider Success program. Not only do the teachers work hard to make sure all the students are receiving the SAME curriculum as the main building but they are also cognizant of the other needs these students have and work with them to be successful.” - Brandy Shifflett
How do you think high school would be different for your student if they had not been in the RSC their freshmen year?
“High school is rough enough without putting the added stress of severe anxiety about the transition and low self-esteem because she had been doing poorly in middle school academically. The RSC helped my daughter to gain the confidence to face the rest of high school and the self-esteem that comes with raising her grades and knowledge base. She went from failing to straight As.” - Brandy Shifflett
Video from Erin Budreau (A current parent of an RSC student)
Testimonials From Raider Success Students
What are some things that you like about the RSC?
“I like that the teachers in the RSC are not boring, and are as understanding as they can be.” - Kendall Haworth
“Most of the teachers are really understanding and nice about every situation and if you're having a bad day or you're struggling with something whether it be at home or during school the teachers always find a way to help you.” - Faith Arnett
“The one on one help.” - Kevin Magallanes
“Extra time.” - Beau McGrew
“You have time to do your homework in class and ask questions.” - Jack Henderson
“They work with you one on one.” - Jaden Brinson
“I do like the extra help and extended class times for English and Math.” - Dylan Ramsey
“The extra help and amazing teachers.” - Grace Barber
“The amount of help I get from all my teachers.” - Ever Lopez
“I like how we get helped more with our work and our classes are close.” - Payton Butler
“You have more time for homework and the teachers answer your questions.” - Layton Wilson
What are some of the ways that the RSC has helped you?
“The RSC has helped me in being more productive with my time, so that now when I come home I feel less overwhelmed with work I have completed, and I feel like I can actually do it instead of trying to forget about it.” - Kendall Haworth
“Better study habits.” - Monica Gonzalez
“They understood me when I was struggling and helped.” - John Nguyen
“Grades.” - Dylan Chadwell
“Notes.” - Jay Peterson
“My grades.” - Stormie Davis
“The RSC has helped me get over my shyness and nervousness. They've helped me with my test anxiety and they've helped me with getting better grades.” - Ellie Vukobratovich
“The smaller classes has really helped with my anxiety. If I feel stressed or frustrated I'm able to calm down. Just the classes, in general, have helped me.” - Kristen Yokovitch
“I've got the best grades I've had in three years.” - Hunter Turner
“They make me feel more confident and it helps me get my work done.” - Alfredo Chavez
“I have better grades and became close with so many people.” - Ella Hobbs
“I can ask for help if I need it now.” - Kaden Leohr
What message would you give an incoming RSC student about the RSC?
“Whatever you hear people call it, it's not true. It'll help you in the future and you'll be prepared for what the teachers will teach you next year.” - Ellie Vukobratavich
“If you need help in any of your classes join the RSC.” - Andrew Graham
“I would tell them that this is an amazing opportunity to get yourself straightened around and to get some good grades.” - Taylor Yeoman
“The RSC has a stigma that has been placed around it by students who were never even in the program. The RSC is there to help you, not make you feel dumb or like you're not as good as other students. The teachers are there to help you become a better version of yourself.” - Kendall Haworth
There's nothing bad about being in the RSC. It's a really good program to be put in. People who call it [names] have no idea how much good it really does. It gives you a second chance at forming good habits. The teachers there are fantastic. They help you out tremendously and you should be happy that you were chosen to be there.” - Kristen Yokovitch
“People might call this place names and call you dumb for being in here but I personally think we are in here because they have hope for us.” - Alfredo Chavez
“Don't really listen to what others say it a great thing to be out here and get one on one help when you need it.” - Ella Hobbs
“It is fun here and it makes your first year of high school a lot easier.” - Payton Butler
“The RSC helps you and if you need help then the teachers can explain it to you without other students bothering them as well, they can give you more attention and with the smaller classes you can focus more.” - Nicole Yeoman
“I feel like a whole new person. I’m actually getting good grades, and I am getting the help I need to understand the material. I have also made some new friends who will help me along the way.”
“I see that I CAN do better. I just have to work at it. This center has helped me realize that. Thank you, teachers.”
“I feel confident in getting good grades. I am sure that I will try my hardest and do the best I can. I feel safe knowing that I can trust all of my teachers and knowing that they will respect me as I respect them.”
“I feel good about the work I’ve done and the new skills I’ve learned. I know I will be able to go into next year with confidence.”
“During middle school, I had no desire to do well in school. I honestly did not believe I was smart enough. This program is not designed for people who are not capable of doing well or who are in need of special assistance. The Raider Success Program was developed for an easier transition into high school. The work and curriculum given in the RSC are the same as the main building, the only difference is there are fewer students which allows more one-on-one time. This ensures that you are on the same path as everyone else in the main building. When I finished my freshman year I was actually ahead 2 credits because of the math lab and language arts lab. This did not only get me ahead on credits but also was more time to work on homework with the teachers’ help available. All the teachers were also very kind! They taught many types of learning, studying, and life methods that I use to this day being a senior. The RSC taught me things like note-taking strategies and ways to study for tests that I have used my entire high school career. It gave me a sense of accomplishment when I passed the first semester with all A' & B's! I had never done that in middle school. In my Junior and Senior year, I have received a total of 9 college credits with the Ivy Tech Early Childhood Education program and I learned that I have a love of working with children. My school counselor has helped me with many college applications, submitting my transcript and SAT scores and informing me of my strengths and weaknesses. When I graduate, I'm going to attend college at Indiana State University, and plan to continue my education in either early childhood education or pediatric nursing. If I was not a part of this educational choice, I do not know if I would be in the same shoes I am now. ”
A Letter to Current Raider Success Freshmen
“The Raider Success Center was the best thing that I could do to help get myself organized. At this point, you might be thinking, this is so stupid, why do I have to do this? Why can't I use weak verbs? Why do we have to do notes in Earth and Space? It will all make sense at the end of the year. You will look back at your grades and think, wow… what an improvement. I was in your place this time last year (2015-2016), and I will admit, I never thought I would have such good grades in my freshman year of high school. If you are still thinking that you do not like the RSC, you can thank them when you are two credits ahead of everyone else in your class! Now I am in tenth grade, and things are going tremendously! I am still getting good grades, and I am way more organized than I would've been otherwise. Good Luck, and have a great year!
P.S: Make sure you keep up on the big projects like The Poetry Project and The Survey Project!” - Josh Raub
Videos from students