"Magda Neil and Katherine Larson were extraordinary trainers/coaches for our school staff as they helped us design and implement dropout prevention strategies for our at-risk students. Magda and Katherine have comprehensive knowledge about how dropout prevention innovations play out in real school environments and were invaluable in their support and coaching to all levels of our staff. Their advice on how to support individual students is outstanding. Students, teachers, counselors, administrators, and interns all benefited greatly from their expertise."
Tanya Stoddard, M.Ed.
"Katherine's knowledge, passion, and expertise is invaluable! She is dedicated to improving the lives of children by using research knowledge to develop sound, practical, and effective programs. She is compassionate, enthusiastic and inspiring to children and adults alike. Her years of experience working with students and parents have given her many practical insights about how to help children achieve success. Her seminars will develop confidence and teach practical skills to help improve the lives of children!"
Russell Rumberger, Ph.D.
"The results of implementing ALAS were phenomenal! By the end of the first semester, my ALAS students with multiple risk factors for dropout were outperforming their peers by leaps and bounds, a testament to the impact student engagement has on secondary achievement. Using California state test data, the ALAS students gained an average of 26 points in language arts while the comparison group who did not receive ALAS interventions (but did receive a special class) improved on average less than 15 points. Read More
"I can honestly say that the ALAS intervention model has been a BREATH of FRESH AIR and has been very effective in addressing the core issues by providing frequent feedback to parents, teachers, as well as students.
I have been a school psychologist for the past 10 years and have had the opportunity to work with many students and families within the low to high socio-economic level. I have seen, first hand, how learning and social-emotional challenges impact teachers, students, and their caregivers." Read More
"I feel the ALAS program provides at risk children with tools that they can use to both cope with and solve problems."
“ALAS makes a difference in kids' lives and it is so stimulating and uplifting to see students in time exclaim 'Yes We Can!' as a part of their daily experience and not as a mere slogan." Read More
"The ALAS model has a holistic approach to reaching students at risk of dropping out of school.
It has been used with several of my students over the years by Magda Neil, our school counselor with positive results. I find my students happier and more engaged in school with this program."
“By the end of the first semester a great number of students receiving the intervention had improved their grades in one or more classes and their attendance and behavior had improved.” Read More
"I have observed the ALAS program as it was implemented at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.
This program has been an important part of the education of at-risk students.
I have seen children acquire motivation and a "I can do" attitude towards completion of goals.
This is developed over time with counseling, monitoring of attendance and parent involvement.
Children who have participated in this program changed their own perception of learning and with support have become active participants of their own education."
"For the past decade, I have used ALAS strategies at the elementary, middle and high school level. I work with high-risk students, English language learners and students with learning and behavior disabilities. Most of the students I work with live in high poverty and high crime neighborhoods, and many come from struggling families or immigrant families in the Los Angeles area.
Some Examples of Parent Letters
Translation from Spanish
"Thank you for the help that you have given my daughter Gabriela S. At the beginning Gabriela did not want to come to this program because she thought that this was a program for dummies. Later she realized that she was improving and that this program was good for her. By participating in this program she was able to see things clearly. This year she experienced a great change. She stopped being truant and started to pay more attention to her studies. Her grades have improved. Now she does not want to be absent to school. I think that programs like this should also be in all schools. What I like that most about this program is that it helps students increase their self-esteem."
"I am Mrs. Z. I would like to thank the program ALAS because I am convinced that it is a very good program. It helped my son a lot. It helped me to understand and recognize things that I never knew. For example, I did not know that there were credits in report cards. Now thanks to ALAS not just do I know this but I also understand it. Thank you again."
"I am writing these lines to congratulate and thank you for the program ALAS. We are the parents of Luis R. and we are very grateful for the effort that you have put forth to help us help him succeed. With your cooperation we have accomplished his success. Thank you for having programs like this that can help young people like Luis. Thank you for allowing them to be in your school. If only this program could enter other schools and continue to help. Forgive my writing, I hope you can understand me, but the important thing is the gratitude that we feel. Once again thank you."
"In the name of Juan and Altagracia L., we want to thank you, the program ALAS, whom has benefited many parents who have children like our son. Also for helping our son Jesus keep on going. Thank you very much for having the ALAS program, and for helping my son Jesus."
What did you like about this program?
That I had someone to talk to about my grades and problems and they could help me out on how to get my grades up.
It like this program because it helped me improve my grades up and it teached me better ways of studying.
I really liked this program because they were on my back and I liked that. It helped me do better.
I liked that they all helped me with whatever I needed and helped me with my grades without me asking first.
I liked when they will help me out in my homework and belived that I could do my best.
This program was concerned with my school work and when they told me about the whole program I knew I had to step it up and improve and got my grades up.
How did this program help you?
They gave me help and ideas on how I should get my grades up..
It helped me by finishing and turning in my homework, and studying for the tests.
It helped me improve my grades up and teached me a better way of studying.
Helped me on my math because I was having trouble at it.
It helped me with my grades a lot! It also helped me to maintain my grades.
It helped my attitude towards school.
It helped me majorly improve in everything and I started my first year of high School great.
They offered help when we needed it and they talked with our teachers to make share we did what we are supposed to do.