Cover Story

Mission: To provide students who have motivational or attitudinal difficulties in completing homework with support to improve academic performance and promote the importance of school.

Why it's needed: In addition to experiencing problems at home or having a knowledge gap, some students become frustrated when they fail Massachusetts's standardized 10th-grade test, which they must pass by 12th grade to receive a diploma.

What it does: A component of Brighton High School's student support services, EAP matches 20 to 40 students per year with master's-level graduate students in one-on-one or small group settings. The graduate students serve as the students' connectors between the classroom and school psychologists, afterschool tutoring and other services. They follow-up with parents, teachers and school staff on the students' progress, and, in weekly meetings, provide homework help and emphasize the importance completing school.

Findings: Just wrapping up the program's second year, lead psychologist Elizabeth Sparks, PhD, is still gathering data. Anecdotally, students report a positive experience.