Student Success

Ms. CastanzaStudent Success At JMSS

Student Success at John McCrae is led by CarolAnn Castanza and is located in room 207. Ms. Castanza can be contacted by email at

At John McCrae Secondary School our Student Success Team has 4 main ways to help students succeed in high school. They are transitions, credit rescue, credit recovery and tracking.


Student Success at John McCrae starts before the first day of high school begins

Our school has made a major effort to make the transition from middle school smoother and more effective. Our guidance, spec ed and student success teachers are in regular contact with our feeder schools to make sure we are aware of our incoming freshman class concerns. We have also introduced LINK CREW which is a mentoring program in which Grade 12's are a direct positive influence on the grade 9's. For more information on Link Crew check out the following website:

Credit Rescue

At John McCrae we have taken a very proactive approach for students in danger of failing classes. Providing opportunities for students at risk of failing to be successful is called credit rescue. Credit rescue can range from facilitating level switches to providing extra time for completing work to credit intervention. Credit intervention is an innovative program where students are removed from the regular classes for a day to catch up on a class or several classes that they are doing poorly in. The program is teacher recommended and has been very successful and helping struggling students and/or students that have had large absences. Credit intervention shows the team approach of our staff and is very effective at getting students at risk of giving up back on track. In the last 5 years at John McCrae failure rates have dropped from 8% to 3%.

Credit Recovery

Say you were mowing your lawn and had finished 45%, when you ran out of gas. Once you filled up the tank, would you start over or simply finish the parts of the lawn that hadn't been mowed yet?

This analogy summarizes credit recovery very well. Credit recovery is essentially mowing the rest of the lawn without mowing the parts you have already finished. Many students who have failed courses are given the opportunity to recover credits without having to take the entire course over again. Credit recovery is mostly used in junior courses for students who have failed multiple classes. Students must have achieved at least 35% in their failed course and are usually recommended by their previous teacher. Credit recovery is very effective at getting students who had a tough semester/year back on track to graduate.


A large part of Student Success is tracking students who are at risk. Student Success is an intervention system that keeps an eye on every student in the school. This preventative tracking is used to make sure that students do not fall through the educational cracks. Tracking is used to both monitor at risk students and to identify new at risk students. Once students have been identified, the Student Success team will decide on how to best intervene. Tracking includes areas such as marks, attendance, literacy tests results, and community service hours.

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