In the current issue of Sports Illustrated, the compelling story of the two-month-old Urban Dove Team Charter School, which enrolls kids who are way, way behind (as in, unlikely to graduate) and motivates them to come to school and do school work with a curriculum massively infused with sports and the team mentality:
The team with which he began the day is not a sports unit but rather a group of students who have every class together. (And who accumulate points, Hogwarts style.) The coach is, in fact, a sports coach, but he is also an adult mentor who travels with the team through every class. After discussing the hurricane week and doing homework—all homework is done in the morning with the team—Carlos boarded a school bus with the rest of the UD Team students and headed to soccer fields on the south end of Brooklyn's Prospect Park….
At UD Team, sports consume several hours of each extended school day. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning students play a seasonal team sport. The school rents space from a church in Brooklyn's beleaguered Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings the students rotate through four rooms that are designated, respectively, for weight training, cardio, yoga and core strengthening. (Kettle bells serve as doorstops.)
The goal of this novel high school is to use sports as an academic-engagement tool to drag the highest of the high-risk students back from the precipice of scholastic failure.