Equipping to end the achievement gap

Every day at practice, Mission Squash Scholars participate in at least one hour of supervised academics, accruing over 100 hours of tutoring, homework help and individualized learning per year – that’s 700 hours over the course of each student’s seven-year program membership. Some students receive extra tutoring at weekends from staff or academic mentors.

Starting in 6th Grade, the Academics Program focuses on creating a college-bound culture: the mindset that every Mission Squash Scholar will attend a best-fit College or University, and go on to obtain a four-year degree of labor market value. As well as emphasizing the importance of core subjects with tutoring in math, english, science and social studies, our broader enrichment curriculum supports the development of the whole person and incorporates study and organization skills, socio-emotional skills, personal finance, personal health and more. Support is provided for students for whom English is a second language. The Academics program is led by a full-time Mission Squash Academic Director and supported by trained volunteers.

Our Academics staff liaise closely with teaching staff at our partner schools in order to diagnose academic issues and evaluate the effectiveness of academic interventions for each student. We use digital tools and data from the school district and state to create individualized learning plans for all students which are aligned with standardized state learning objectives (TEKS).

Scholars and parents meet with our staff several times throughout the year as part of our Grades and Goals process, where we set goals, monitor progress and address specific academic concerns or areas for growth. As our students graduate to High School, they begin to participate in specific College Readiness programming in addition to regular academics.

Academic Program Goals

  • All Scholars maintain or improve overall grade performance annually
  • All Scholars show academic growth exceeding that of comparable school district peers
  • All Scholars meet or exceed STAAR (state testing) proficiency standards
  • All Scholars avoid summer learning loss in math and english
  • All Scholars develop life-long independent study habits and intellectual curiosity

Academic Program Outcomes

16% improvement in English grades

from the start to the end of the academic year for 8th Grade Scholars. Scholars finished the year 8% higher than comparable peers

6% Higher Math grades

than comparable school peers for 7th Grade Scholars by the end of the year

28% Fewer School Absences

than comparable peers

100% Promotion to next grade level

Scholars outperformed peers across English, Math, and Science

  • 7th Graders: 3% higher GPA (core subjects)
  • 8th Graders: 4% higher GPA (core subjects)

All data relates to Academic Year 2016-17

Academic Program Elements

Homework Help

Scholars receive at least 2 hours of homework help per week in small groups

One-to-one Tutoring

Focusing on core subjects

Study Skills

Scholars learn to manage their time and materials with the Scholarship Planner and Binder to track assignments and store important materials

Test Preparation

Students receive support before and during standardized state testing (STAAR)

Grades and Goals

Scholars and families collaborate with Mission Squash staff three times per year to create and track academic, physical and personal goals. Student grades are tracked on a weekly basis.

English Language Acquisition

Additional support for students for whom english is a second language or not spoken in the home, including guided reading and writing skills

Individualized Digital Learning

Our digital classroom is aligned with state learning objectives (TEKS) and ensures that students receive the right academic interventions at the right time

Academic Enrichment

Essay and article writing, book club, special academic assignments, personal finance, entrepreneurship, resume writing, leadership skills development, coding and more

Academic Policies

Grades are checked by Mission Squash staff on a weekly basis.

Students with any grade below 70 are required to use their squash time as additional time in academics to take any corrective action and receive additional support to stay on track.

Students receive zeros in their gradebook for missing or incomplete assignments. This can have a significant impact on overall GPA.

The Zero Zero policy incentivizes students to manage their time and resources to ensure that all are assignments are complete and turned in on time. 

Students who do have a zero are required to use their squash time to complete any missing work before they are able to return to court.

More Information

For more information about the Academics Program, please contact our Program and Academic Director.