Vol 15, no 1 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
January 2015 - Vol. 15, No. 1

Summary for January

  1. National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program
  2. 27th Annual At-Risk Youth National FORUM
  3. Save the Date and Submit a Proposal to Present! 2015 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities
  4. Join the Network!
  5. Tune in to Solutions to the Dropout Crisis
  6. NDPC/N Publication Sale of the Month
  7. Top Stories
  8. Effective Strategies
  9. Students with Disabilities
  10. Feedback

NEW! National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

The NDPC/N is offering a new National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program for educators and those who work with and/or on behalf of students at risk of dropping out of school. The certification will verify participant knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The NDPS certification program is founded on NDPC/N’s research-based effective strategies, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge. For more information and to register, visit http://www.dropoutprevention.org/content/national-dropout-prevention-specialist-certification-program, and start working on the requirements at any of our upcoming events.

2015 At-Risk Youth National FORUM

2015 At-risk Youth National Forum

February 15-18, 2015

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC

The theme of this year’s FORUM is "Success Within Reach: Strategies for At-Risk Youth." Please join us for this networking and sharing of strategies event held at one of our most popular venues—right on the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach. For more information, contact us or click the "Register" button at http://www.dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2015-risk-youth-national-forum

Save the Date and Submit a Proposal to Present! 2015 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

April 26-29, 2015

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MN

Proposals to present are now being accepted for this upcoming event which includes a special focus on dropout prevention issues and strategies for native and tribal communities. Contact us or link to http://www.dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2015-national-forum-dropout-prevention-native-and-tribal-communities for more information, and look for registration to open soon.

Support NDPC/N! Join Our Network!

We encourage all who want to stay abreast of the most recent information regarding research and practice related to dropout prevention, truancy prevention, intervention, reentry, and recovery to join our Network. Your membership fees provide valuable benefits to you but also helps to support all the resources we provide at no charge or minimal charge through our Web site, white papers, policy briefs, and membership services. Become a member today. Support our efforts to better equip all who work with youth who struggle. Be a part of the solution!

Tune in to Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

This month’s show: "Using Social Media to Engage Learners"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

3:30 - 4:30 pm Eastern Time

Photo of Dr. William Kist Photo of Dr. Patrick O'connor

The first Solutions to the Dropout Crisis webcast of 2015 will be on the topic "Using Social Media to Engage Learners." With this episode, we not only will use our new TV format, but we will be adding a discussion forum and live tweeting during the broadcast (#engagedlearner @NDPCn).

Literacy and social media experts Drs. Bill Kist and Pat O’Connor, colleagues at Kent State University, Kent, OH, will share reasons to engage learners—and at-risk students in particular—through social media tools such as texting, blogging, and tweeting, and will discuss how introducing social media into the classroom is one way to improve reading skills as well as reach students who learn differently. You won’t want to miss this one!

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

Next Month

Next month's program will be aired Tuesday, February 10, 2015, and will feature Dr. Ray McNulty, Dean of the School of Education, Southern New Hampshire University, talking about "Competency-Based Learning."

Previously on Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

Our outstanding December program is now available in archived form. For this program, Dr. Shanan Chappell discussed "Making Sense of the Evidence: A Review of Dropout Prevention Strategies." Dr. Chappell and colleagues, with the support of Old Dominion University and the National Dropout Prevention Center, recently completed a meta-analysis of strategies within programs designed to reduce school dropout rates or increase graduation rates. Hear about the ground-breaking results of the examination of over 50 studies with about 37,000 participants, and look for more information about this meta-analysis to come soon.

All Solutions webcasts are archived for later viewing and use in professional learning development. and can be viewed here.

Sale of the Month

Creating a Community of Learners: Using the Teacher as Facilitator Model

By K. N. Elam and M. Duckenfield (Eds.)

Critical to creating a place where students want to be, teachers need to learn how to be facilitative teachers. All teachers will benefit from the wisdom and experience of the exceptional leaders highlighted in this book, as they share the techniques and strategies that support facilitation. An excellent book for both pre-service and in-service staff education.

This book retails for $20, but is available for 50% off ($10) for the month of January.

Order your copy now.

Top Stories

The U.S. Department of Education announced in late November 2014 a new plan that would require all states to submit report cards for teacher preparation programs with their states. The proposal aims to curb the incidences of unprepared K-12 teachers. Plans are for the administration to take public comments for 60 days and issue regulations by September 2015, but states will not be required to issue the report cards until April 2019. Read The Washington Post article.

According to Time.com, the Department of Education is walking a delicate line on single-sex classrooms. "The Department of Education doesn't have much to say about the science of whether boys' and girls' brains work differently. But if you read between the lines of its guidance on single-sex public education released Monday, it’s clear the agency is not sold on it. That’s likely due to the fact that separate classrooms are at the center of a white-hot debate in education circles today."

Effective Strategies

Safe Learning Environments

KidsBites—Students Eating and Learning Healthy: Philabundance launched the KidsBites program in 2012 to provide school children in disadvantaged communities with nutritious food that would help them thrive and grow. The program is doing that and more at Stetser Elementary in Chester, PA. "It's important that food is on the table for kids so they can learn better and get higher grades," said Dechanta Womack of Chester.

Family Engagement

How can more Pittsburgh parents become engaged in their kids' education? For the Heinz Endowments, an answer is training and organizing parents through community groups to have the skills to advocate for what they want in their children’s schools. "Even if the schools were doing everything right, we do believe parents deserve to create their own opportunities and methods in how they engage in their children’s education," said Melanie Brown, Heinz Endowments education program officer.

Service Learning

Program helps Adams Elementary students learn wonders of giving: A Tennessee public elementary school has implemented a new service-learning program, which so far this year has raised $4,000 for the Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Centers Inc. and is teaching the students about teamwork, cooperation, community service, and leadership.

Alternative Schooling

Homeschooling is on the rise across the nation. The National Center for Education Statistics found that 3% of school-age children across the country were homeschooled in 2012, an increase from 2.2% in 2003. Relaxed state laws, the growing options for print and digital curriculum, and the increasing popularity of individualized education have contributed to the rise of homeschooling. Read the story about changes in Virginia, especially pronounced in rural parts of the state, in this article.

After-School Opportunities

According to a recent Afterschool Alliance report, America After 3PM, after-school programs are still not numerous enough to meet demands in many states. The 2014 survey was the third wave of data collected by the Afterschool Alliance attempting to estimate by state the percentage of children in after-school programs, the percentage of families who want to enroll their children in an after-school program, and the percentage of children who are unsupervised after school and missing out on the learning opportunities after-school programs have to offer. Prior surveys were conducted in 2004 and 2009.

Expanded Learning Opportunities for high school students can reduce dropout rates and keep older youth on positive academic paths, according to a 2011 National Conference of State Legislatures and Harvard Family Research project brief. Read the brief, “Helping Older Youth Succeed Through Expanded Learning Opportunities." Read a blog post from U.S. News High School Notes to learn more news about how after-school programs can help teens at risk of dropping out. This article points out that nationally, about two million high school students participate in an after-school program, and these teens are more prone to stay in school. Pointing to federal data, the author points out that the hours between 3-7 p.m. "can be risky for many high school students, as they are often alone and unsupervised," and "violent juvenile crimes occur most frequently in the hours immediately following the end of school on school days."

Educational Technology

This Will Revolutionize Education. In this video, Derek Muller (by Veritasium, on YouTube) discusses revolutions in education. Says Muller, "Luckily, the fundamental role of a teacher is not to deliver information. It is to guide the student in the social process of learning."

Students with Disabilities

Columbus Schools: Old Practices Failed Special-Ed Students. The Columbus, OH, school district has acknowledged that for years its high schools have fraudulently given at least a D grade to special-education students. Columbus City Schools have promised to overhaul the way they educate students with disabilities in an unprecedented agreement with the Ohio Department of Education. More than 1,500 disabled students who received Ds in core subject areas at a Columbus high school in the past two years will be offered the chance to take courses again at the district’s expense to know if they truly mastered the material.


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