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National Dropout Prevention Center / Network Update
April 2014 - Vol. 14 No. 3

Dropout Prevention Update

Summary for April

  1. 2014 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities
  2. 2014 Diploma Plan Institute
  3. Solutions to the Dropout Crisis Broadcast April 23
  4. NDPC Publication Sale of the Month
  5. Top Stories
  6. Effective Strategies
  7. Media
  8. Students with Disabilities
  9. Funding Opportunities

2014 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

“Building Engaging Educational Communities for Native Students”

Conference Graphic

April 27-30, 2014

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MN

Don't miss this opportunity!

This conference will emphasize a variety of strategies that work with native and tribal community students who are at risk of dropping out of school before high school graduation.

Our Early Bird Registration Discount has been extended through Friday, April 18.

Get conference information, propose to present, register to exhibit, and/or register to attend here.

2014 Diploma Plan Institute

June 18-20, 2014

Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC

Get conference information, propose to present, register to exhibit, and/or register to attend here.

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

Community Education

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3:30 - 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time

Photo of Larry Allen

Dr. Larry Allen, Dean of Clemson University's College of Health, Education, and Human Development, provides an overview of community-based education, stressing shared ownership of the education and success of our young people across all sectors of every community. This framework will provide you with a new way of looking at education—which does not stop, nor should it stop, when students leave the school building each day.

  1. Learn what community-based education is.
  2. Find out how you can improve your community's collaborative efforts in education.

Participation in this webcast is free and no registration is required. This episode can be viewed on the day of the webcast here.

Past TV webcasts are now archived and can be viewed here.

Sale of the Month

The Principal's Role in Dropout Prevention: Seven Key Principles

by S. Edwards and R. Edwards

A principal, effective with students at risk, shares his strategies for successful school leadership.

This book retails for $8, but is available for $4 for the month of April. Order your copy now.

Top Stories

Education Fuels Growth of Urban Entrepreneurs, Study Suggests. Startup and entrepreneurial growth in small to large cities is fueled more by high school diplomas and college degrees than by venture capital, government funding, or the presence of research universities, a study concludes.

A one-hour class could cut the college dropout rate: First generation college students get lower grades and are more likely to drop out—an "achievement gap" that threatens efforts to boost the number of college graduates. Recent research, however, suggests a simple one-hour intervention that focuses on students' social-class backgrounds could help close the divide.

From ED Review, a biweekly e-newsletter from the U.S. Department of Education: The White House and the Department released a new report, "Setting the Pace," spotlighting examples of the most innovative and effective reforms that are taking place in states across the country under Race to the Top. A corresponding blog post summarizes five ways Race to the Top is supporting students and teachers, from providing more students with access to challenging classes to helping educators transition to new standards.

Effective Strategies


Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students: A new paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a promising approach for helping the most challenged students, who often arrive in high school several years behind their peers.

Alternative Schooling

The Ten Signs You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child: If your child has exhibited several of these characteristics, it's time for you to start looking for an alternative. In most parts of this country today, there are many options to choose from—public and private.

Alternative schools gather for annual basketball tournament: Students from alternative schools in the city and suburbs competed this weekend in their own version of the Big Dance—the Chicago Area Alternative Education League’s annual basketball tournament. “They don’t normally get included in events like this,” said Ryan Green, coach of the varsity basketball team at SEAL South school in Romeoville. “This tournament lets them experience something many of their peers might take for granted.”

Hear about best practices for creating, developing, and sustaining successful alternative programs and schools in our NDPC video webcast.

Professional Development

Grand Forks high schools will have shorter day once a month for teacher learning: Red River and Central teachers said the extra time would allow them to plan more, discuss common problems, focus on the needs of all students—including the ones who don't plan a postsecondary education—and learn from each other.

Active Learning

Unlearning Learned Helplessness: Such knee-jerk calls for help are indicative of a common reason students don’t learn to their potential: learned helplessness. They encounter an unfamiliar task (or word, formula, etc.), and immediately shut down or seek help. The good news is that because it’s learned helplessness, it can also be unlearned.

Educational Technology

New All-Digital Curriculums Hope to Ride High Tech Push in Schoolrooms: English language curriculums built entirely on a digital platform are about to enter the market from several companies, with promises that they will change the nature of classroom learning across the country.

Career and Technology Education (CTE)

Early College, Early Success: Program Overview, Research Findings, and Implications for Practice: By changing the structure and timeframe of high school, compressing the time it takes to earn a college degree, and removing financial barriers to graduation, Early College High Schools will increase the number of traditionally underrepresented youth in higher education earning postsecondary degrees.

Family Engagement

A new post on the U.S. Department of Education Homeroom blog offers tips parents might consider when talking with their child about tests. Also, read and share the Department's "Parent Power" booklet that offers more tips for parents of children birth through high school years.


America's Promise and its campaign partners have officially launched the second year of the nationwide Attendance Awareness Campaign, which designates September as Attendance Awareness Month. Visit this link for a selection of videos to explain the problem and show how others are finding solutions. The latest version of "Count Us In! Toolkit," which contains resources for Attendance Awareness Month 2014, can be found here.

Interested in Competency-Based Education? iNACOL has posted a number of webinars on that topic on YouTube. They are also posted on iNACOL's Web site. YouTube offerings include "a K-12 Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change" and "How State Educational Leaders are Advancing Competency Education" as well as many others.

Students with Disabilities

Project SEARCH job fair for students with disabilities set for April: Participants will register for industry-specific skill assessments and attend learning sessions such as resume building, dressing for success, and interviewing skills. The event will be held April 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the La Vista Conference Center in La Vista, Nebraska.


The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education/Department of Education has announced two grant opportunities: the Alaska Native Education (ANE) program (Program # 66071) and the Native Hawaiian Education (NHE) program (Program # 67630), to support innovative projects that enhance the educational services provided to Alaska Native children and adults and Native Hawaiian children and adults, respectively.
Deadline(s): 04/21/2014

The Advanced Placement (AP) Test Fee Program awards grants to eligible state educational agencies (SEAs) to enable them to pay all or a portion of advanced placement test fees on behalf of eligible low-income students who (a) are enrolled in an advanced placement course and (b) plan to take an advanced placement exam. Visit their Web site here.
Deadline: 05/08/2014

The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina provides grants up to $10,000 to nonprofit arts organizations that enhance the arts, education, environment, health, human needs, or neighborhood/community development of Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, and Georgetown Counties. Visit their Web site or view details for this program.
Deadline: 06/02/2014


We appreciate comments from our readers. We invite new subscribers to receive the Dropout Prevention Update via our sign-up form. Please feel free to contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu

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