Vol 14, no 9 Header
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
October 2014 - Vol. 14 No. 9

Dropout Prevention Update

Summary for October

  1. 2014 Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference
  2. Solutions to the Dropout Crisis
  3. NDPC/N Publication Sale of the Month
  4. Top Stories
  5. Effective Strategies
  6. Media
  7. Policy
  8. International
  9. Students with Disabilities

2014 Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

November 2-5, 2014

The Galt House, Louisville, KY

It is not too late to register for this year’s outstanding National Dropout Prevention Network annual conference, to be held at the largest hotel in Kentucky, right on the riverfront in Louisville, November 2-5, 2014. This conference is particularly known for its networking opportunities and speakers who connect research to practice in the areas of dropout prevention, intervention, and recovery/reentry, all with the focus of supporting all learners. This year’s conference promises to be extremely engaging! See this year’s strands (literacy and new literacy, school climate, family and community engagement, pathways, and more) and register to attend here.

Preconference workshops will be held on Sunday, November 2nd. If you attend a preconference session, you will be invited to a Sunday night special awards reception, where you may have the opportunity to meet in person former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, our 2014 Crystal Star Award winner for Lifetime Achievement and National Impact. You will also be invited to attend a silent auction following the awards reception. You can register for preconference workshops when you register for the conference.

Special presentations during the rest of the conference include the following.

  • Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, the senior administrator of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell program, along with Dr. Debra Duardo, executive director of LAUSD’s Student Health and Human Services, and Mr. Robert Sainz, the assistant general manager of the LA Economic and Workforce Development Department who will provide insight on how a partnership between a school district and city government resulted in a successful dropout recovery model.
  • Mr. Shawn Wilson, manager of Multicultural & Community Engagement at Ford Motor Company Fund, and previous President and CEO of Usher’s New Look Foundation, will discuss the power of branding education as innovative, tech forward, and global in his Rebranding Education 101 presentation. An exciting announcement from Ford Motor Company Fund will also be highlighted during this session.
  • The Administrators’ Track will feature Dr. Mark Wilson who was named 2009 National High School Principal of the Year by MetLife and NASSP. Dr. Wilson will present three sessions on Tuesday, November 4th, focused on climate, culture, and change—his three steps towards success.

Site visits this year include the Audubon Youth Development Center, the Bullitt Alternative Center and Riverview Opportunity Center, the Jefferson County High School/JCPS eSchool, and the YouthBuild Louisville. All site visits will be on Wednesday, November 5th. (Preregistration for site visits is required.)

Register for the conference today at http://www.dropoutprevention.org/conferences/26th-annual-national-dropout-prevention-network-conference! You will not want to miss this opportunity!

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

Dropout Recovery Model for Youth: An Innovative Partnership Between a School District and a City Government

Debra Duardo, Executive Director of Student Health & Human Services for LAUSD, and Robert Sainz, the Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department, were guests on the Tuesday, October 14, Solutions to the Dropout Crisis webcast, discussing the development of an innovative dropout recovery model in an urban setting.

The comprehensive dropout recovery model is a collaboration between LAUSD Pupil Services and the City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department. The model is designed to reengage youth in high-need communities back into an educational setting. It is cited by the U.S. Department of Education as a national model for dropout recovery.

Previous webcasts are archived and can be viewed http://www.dropoutprevention.org/webcast/archives.

Solutions airs live the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Participation in the webcast is free and no registration is required.

Sale of the Month

Teachable Moments: Ethics and Reflection in Service-Learning

by T. Fishman and L. Swanson

Learn how to guide your students' reflections to incorporate ethical decision making, whether it's related to everyday problems or global issues.

This book retails for $7, but is available for $5 for the month of October.

Order your copy now.

Top Stories

D.C. Anti-Truancy Program is Getting More Kids to School. Show Up, Stand Out, a free program that aims to help parents get their children to school every day in D.C., has had success in its first year. Nearly 80% of the families involved in the program during the 2012-2013 school year improved their children’s attendance.

The Debate Over Common Core. One of the key issues being discussed in education this school year is the Common Core. It's a prescription for teaching and grading students that's provoked an uncommonly spirited debate around the country. This CBS report shows various sides of the issue.

Effective Strategies

Family Engagement

Family Engagement: The Top of Everyone's Back-to-School Checklist. Transformative family engagement begins as a shared responsibility between families, schools, and communities. This means ensuring that all families and community leaders are included in decisions regarding their children's education—going beyond traditional parent involvement activities, such as a once a year open-house school night or parent-teacher conferences.

Early Childhood Education

Twitter Chat: How Important Is Early Childhood Education? How important is early childhood education? Could its impact last into adulthood? Can children without access to quality preschool catch up? What role do parents play? Read this transcript of PBS’s Twitter Chat on early childhood education.

After-School Opportunities

Learning Doesn't End After School. At Omaha’s Marrs Magnet Middle School, the after-school program is so popular that there's a waiting list. The focus is getting young people to keep the learning going after they leave class.

YMCA Afterschool Program Helps Youth Learn and Achieve. “Research shows that afterschool programs can help children perform better in school, practice healthy habits, and engage in positive lifestyle behaviors. If left unsupervised at the end of the school day, students miss out on positive influences that encourage achievement and deter risk-taking activities,” said Elizabeth Grace, director of the Y Child Development Center.

Active Learning

Physics Class at Ellis Shows Active Learning's Potential. Ellis School physics teacher Sam Rauhala knew his ninth-graders understood physics better last school year as he increased the amount of active learning and decreased the amount of lecturing. Now the school’s research findings point in the same direction.

Educational Technology

A Primer on Educational Technology: 5 Terms Parents Need to Understand. This back-to-school season, students more than ever are arriving to classrooms equipped with digital devices and learning tools. Apps, videos, and other online resources that can be accessed from iPads, Android devices, Chromebooks, and the like are profoundly impacting the learning process. Here are five educational technology terms and trends every parent or person working with young people should understand.

17 New Laws In 12 States Help Govern Educational Technology. Advancements in technology and productivity over the last decade demand new ways of integrating current and future technological innovations into public education. Policymakers are working to provide all students high-quality learning options, regardless of where they live or what school they attend. In 2014, 12 states passed 17 laws relating to education technology. The foremost goal of this legislation in many states is to strengthen existing online education programs in both K-12 and higher education


Why Families Are Key to Transforming Education in America. Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach For America, and Veronica Palmer, the co-founder of RISE Colorado, discuss a big problem in schools and the new way to solve it.

The Role Alternative Education Plays In Learning. Education is progressively moving towards an "outside the box" method of teaching, and it doesn't end with bringing more technology into schools. We explore the alternative ways of enhancing a student's ability to learn in the classroom.

Two guests on the educational tv radio show, “Your Day,” spoke with Marty Duckenfield recently regarding dropout issues in rural contexts. Dr. Hobart Harmon, one of the nation’s leading experts on public education in rural America, spoke about some of the reasons students drop out of school in rural areas (link to the MP3 file of that program segment). Dr. Deborah Halliday, of the Montana Office of Public Instruction, shared insights about unique challenges in rural areas of states such as Montana and how community learning partnerships, such as “Graduation Matters Montana,” can play a part in the solution (link to the MP3 file of that program segment).

For a compelling and educational look at some stories of students and staff in one Chicago school serving students with particularly challenging situations, watch the complete series of eight mini-documentaries about “Last Chance High,” produced by VICE News and available on YouTube. Link to Episode 1 here. Be aware that the language and content may not be suitable for all audiences.


California breaks new ground in education privacy law with K-12 student data privacy bill. Learn more here.


What happens to educational institutions during health crises? Nearly one and a half million students in Ebola-ravaged Liberia have been without access to education since July when nearly all public and private schools were shut down. Read one story here.

More than 50 students from the Beijing New Talent Academy attended Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics in Hernando County in Florida from March until May of 2014, making it the largest student exchange in Hernando County’s history. School officials say last year's exchange was a success, giving Chinese and Challenger students alike an intimate look at a different culture. Read more here.

Schools May Need To Do Better Jobs Creating Global Citizens. Correspondents for The News & Observer in North Carolina point out that more than 280 languages are spoken in NC households. Between 2000 and 2010, NC’s population grew twice that of the national rate in part because the state’s foreign-born population grew 55%. A prosperous future for NC depends on a prepared global citizenry. The authors implore readers to work right now to change this rhetoric into reality. The same may apply to other U.S. states.

Students with Disabilities

Special Education Charters Renew Inclusion Debate: The Arizona Autism Charter School is among dozens of charters nationwide that focus on serving students with disabilities. Such schools help counter the long-running criticism that charters don't serve enough of those students. But they also renew questions about the best educational environment for students with disabilities: Is it a specialized school or a more mainstream setting with general education students?


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