tiered intervention

School administrators show dedication to graduation by creating new programs

The Moreno Valley Unified School District administrators are showing their dedication to increasing graduation rates by developing new programs for their students.

The school district is now planning to implement an online school that will combine independent study with required student-teacher meetings. Enrollment in the program will be limited to juniors, seniors and fifth-year students.

Independent Study programs work for some students but do not provide enough support for all students, according to assistant superintendent Martinrex Kedziora, who was hired by Superintendent Judy White after she took over the district in 2011.

The district’s on-time graduation rate has improved from 65.7 percent in 2010 to 74.8 percent in 2012, but it’s still second lowest in Riverside County. However, the improvement is attributed to numerous efforts. The district recognizes that a single program won’t work for every at-risk student, so leaders have worked to offer electives, manage records better and mentor.

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America's Promise Alliance report 'Don't Call Them Dropouts' shines light on why students leave school

America’s Promise Alliance and its Center for Promise at Tufts University have released a new report about understanding why students leave school.

Aptly, it’s titled “Don’t Call Them Dropouts.”

Most students don’t leave school out of boredom or a lack of motivation, but rather because of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles they face in their lives — homelessness, abuse, life-altering health conditions and a lack of a support network, the report found.

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Transition from middle school to high school influences risk for dropping out

Many dropout prevention initiatives are attempts to rescue, rehabilitate or revive students who have fallen behind in their studies after a few years in high school.

But the biggest impact, according to researchers from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, comes from a focus on the transition from middle school to high school.

A student’s freshman year is, after all, a key predictor of the likelihood of a high school student dropping out. If a student experiences low grades, a lack of course credit or poor attendance, they are more likely to be off track for graduation, and likely to drop out of school in 10th grade. In order to protect those at-risk adolescents, educators need to recognize how to keep a student on track during their freshman year of high school.

That’s why Jennifer S. Cohen and Becky A. Smerdon argue in their research article, “Tightening the Dropout Tourniquet: Easing the Transition from Middle School to High School,” that effective dropout prevention initiatives should include components that focus specifically on the ninth grade.

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Superintendent goes door-to-door to bring dropouts back to school

When Daniel P. King became superintendent of the 32,000-student Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District he leads in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, the district’s three high schools had been singled out as "dropout factories" in a seminal national report, 23 high school science teachers had resigned, gangs activity was on the rise and attendance was dropping.

The year was 2007, and the district was in crisis.

The graduation rate of the 2006-07 school year was 62 percent, far below Texas' statewide average of 77 percent.

Five years later, the dropout rate has been cut by nearly 90 percent. The district's graduation rate is now 88 percent — roughly 10 percentage points higher than Texas’ statewide average. And about 25 percent of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo's high school students were enrolled in at least one course that could earn them credit for college.

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University approves new charter school for dropout and homeless students

In Michigan, homeless students and dropouts will have a new place to earn their education and seek shelter.

Covenant House, a faith-based homeless youth shelter, is collaborating with Grand Valley State University to create a new school for dropouts and homeless students.

Covenant House, which is scheduled to open in August, anticipates an enrollment of 150, but it could double that number if needed.

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Sacramento schools hope to help dropouts aged 18 to 22 earn their high school diploma

A new program education leaders in Sacramento, California hope to launch is aimed at getting recent dropouts back to school.

In Stanislaus County, students over the age of 18 aren’t allowed to earn a high school diploma. Students who drop out and turn 19 have few viable options as a GED isn’t highly regarded, Superintendent Tom Chagnon told KCRA.

He knows students need a high school diploma to be successful, and he wants the program Comeback Kids to helps dropouts age 18 to 22.

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Missouri high school faces 33 percent dropout rate, largely due to homeless students

Schools in Missouri have a 3.2 percent dropout rate, and Columbia high schools have a 4 percent rate.

But one school in Columbia, Frederick Douglass High School, has a whopping 33 percent dropout rate.

The students at the school, though, are facing some pretty difficult circumstances, according to the program Intersection on KBIA.

Many don’t have a stable food source and several are homeless, which creates pretty big hurdles to getting homework done.

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Winner of inaugural American Graduate Student Film Festival announced

The ballots have been cast and the votes tallied.

The winner of the first American Graduate Student Film Festival has been announced!

Howard University’s WHUT Anacostia Digital Media Club took top honors with its film “Be the Change.”

“The group created this video to encourage adults to become mentors to high school students. They can be the change they want to see and empower students to stay in school,” according to the American Graduate website.

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CIS of Nevada receives $1 million donation, allowing them to expand into five more schools

A $1 million, three-year donation for Communities In Schools of Nevada will help students there succeed in school.

CIS of Nevada helps nearly 25,000 students in more than 40 schools in southern and northeast Nevada.

The nonprofit connects them with services such as medical and dental care, mental health counseling services, food, clothing, tutoring, career exploration, academic development and other programs.

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