Vol 15, no 12 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
January 2016 - Vol. 16, No. 1

Register Now for the 2016 At-Risk Youth National Forum: Reaching Beyond the Risk

February 14-17, 2016

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC

2016 National Dropout Prevention FORUM

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, in partnership with the Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University; South Carolina Department of Education; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Watson College of Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington; Dropout Prevention Coalition, University of North Carolina Wilmington; William L. Spadoni College of Education, Coastal Carolina University; Communities In Schools of North Carolina; Communities In Schools of South Carolina; and The Citadel School of Education, invites you to attend the 2016 At-Risk Youth National Forum, Reaching Beyond the Risk. Featured speakers include Stacy Dewitt, BGen. Stewart Rodeheaver, and Terry Dozier. Strands of interest include (a) Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math; (b) Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement; (c) Community, Family, and Student Engagement; (d) Interacting With Specific Populations; (e) Leadership, Policy, and Governance; (f) Life Skills and Personal Development; (g) School Climate; and (h) Out-Of-School/Community Programs. For more information, link here. Register now at this link. We hope to see you in Myrtle Beach!


2016 National Forum on Dropout Prevention: Serving Native Students and Tribal Communities

March 6–9, 2016

Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel

Oklahoma City, OK

2016 National Forum on Dropout Prevention Serving Native Students and Tribal Communities

Topic strands for this forum include (a) Addressing the Opportunity Gap, (b) Instructional Strategies to Increase Learning, (c) Behavioral Supports, (d) Family and Community Engagement, (e) School Climate: Safety and Student Wellness, (f) Service-Learning and Restorative Justice, (g) Digital Communication and Engagement, (h) Reengagement and Recovery Strategies, and (i) Culture and Language. Registration for this event is now open. For more information or to register, link here: http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2016-national-forum-dropout-prevention-native-tribal-communities/.


Save the Dates!

Save the dates for the following events and stay tuned for more information and calls for proposals to present. If you need information before then, you may contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu and we’ll be glad to help.

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

June 26-29, 2016

Embassy Suites Orlando-Lake Buena Vista South

Kissimmee, FL

Are you familiar with trauma-informed education? Do you know how to identify, and treat with compassion and effectiveness, students who are victims of sporadic or chronic trauma? Are you yourself in danger of compassion fatigue? Plan to attend this conference to learn skills and strategies that will help reach wounded students. A limited call for proposals to present will open soon..


2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

October 2-5, 2016

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Detroit, MI

Make plans to attend now. This is sure to be one of our largest, most exciting and informative network conferences ever! Check out motivational speaker Eric Thomas, with a hyped up video invitation to this conference on our Home page!


Diploma Planning Institute

Are schools in your district, state, or region working on dropout prevention and graduation improvement plans? Would you like NDPC/N staff to help guide that work? Consider having NDPC/N host one or more Diploma Planning Institutes (DPI) in your state. DPIs give teams of school personnel the opportunity to work on written dropout prevention plans based on strategies that have been researched and found to be effective. The strategies put forward by the National Dropout Prevention Center are built into the dropout prevention plans of many states throughout the nation and are considered the standard in dropout prevention planning. Visit NDPC/N’s home page at www.dropoutprevention.org, and view a short video filmed during a summer 2015 DPI in Maine. Contact NDPC/N at 864-656-2599 or ndpc@clemson.edu for more information or to arrange a Diploma Planning Institute for your state or region.


National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

Specialist Certifiation Program

We now offer a certification program for educators and those who work with and/or on behalf of students at risk of dropping out of school. The National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program verifies 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. If you are accepted into the program, you may begin work immediately at the very next NDPC/N conference or event. Contact us or go to this Web page for more information and to join our NDPS army of practitioners across the nation who are officially becoming better informed and networked, as well as recognized, in their fight to end the school dropout crisis.


Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

“Graduation Success Initiative: A Full Court Press Approach”

January 12, 2016

3:30–4:30 PM ET

January Solutions

In 2011, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)—one of the largest school districts in the state of North Carolina—developed and implemented the Graduation Success Initiative (GSI). It began as a student-centered, districtwide approach to assess each senior’s status in meeting graduation requirements. While maintaining the student-centered focus, the GSI has evolved into an integrated and systematic tool—used by many stakeholders—that promotes graduation integrity and success. The result for CMS has been a significant increase in graduation rates. Cheryl Robinson and Carol Alexander, from CMS, will present a brief overview of CMS, the superintendent’s vision, the first year’s creation and implementation of the GSI, the current process, and outcomes.

Viewers of this Solutions program will learn about:

  • The challenges of a large urban school district as it pertains to graduation success
  • Why there was a need for a systematic approach
  • Lessons learned from the first year of implementation
  • The current process
  • Outcomes and successes as a result of the GSI

Link here on the day of the broadcast to join us for this program. Viewing this webcast is free and no registration is required. Tune in the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 PM ET for new Solutions to the Dropout Crisis.


Top Stories

Every Student Succeeds Act is now law. Watch this December 10, 2015, YouTube video of President Obama signing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), replacing the expired No Child Left Behind law. ESSA continues to require annual testing of students and has a goal of improving low-performing schools; however, it aims to empower state and local decision makers to develop their own strong systems for school improvement rather than imposing cookie-cutter federal solutions. Read the White House’s Press Release here.


Effective Strategies

School-Community Collaboration

You can find both parent and community resources from the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/fbnp/resources/, including a monthly bulletin called Education Matters that highlights key information and issues related to education. The Center also provides links to online toolkits and checklists related to partnerships between education agencies, schools, and community-based organizations. A link to information about grant opportunities is also included on this Department of Education Web page. You may also call the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at 202-453-6340.

Family Engagement

Find educator resources, tips, and tools related to working with adult learners, K-12, English language learners, and research related to literacy and families learning at the National Center for Families Learning Web site.

Active Learning

Find definitions and examples of intellectually, socially, and physically active learning in the middle grades in this 2015 journal article by Susan Edwards for Middle School Journal.

Career and Technical Education

Dr. Jim Stone from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at SREB brought our attention to an Inside Philanthropy article referencing the Siemens Foundation’s acknowledgement of the need to build a more robust middle-skilled workforce. Middle-skills occupations are those requiring more than a high school degree but less than a four-year bachelor’s degree. “Middle-skills jobs account for more than half of the U.S. labor market, and middle-skills jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) come with an average salary of $53,000.” (Click here to read the Inside Philanthropy article.)

Find links to numerous resources related to best practices and research on work-based learning and service-learning at this CTE Clearinghouse Web page from the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Professional Development

Alaska Dispatch News reports Alaska’s increasing graduation rates and points to several effective strategies implemented in the state. One such strategy, particularly related to the Bering Strait’s graduation rate improvement, is professional development. Read about Alaska’s efforts to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates in this article.

NDPC/N has worked with Alaska educators and leaders for over a decade, and our colleagues from that state regularly share information about their successful efforts with other practitioners, researchers, educators, and policymakers at NDPC/N conferences and events and through NDPC/N publications. Read about some of Alaska’s work in an NDPC/N newsletter from 2007 and specifically the Bering Strait’s GAINS project in this 2012 newsletter. Read about the RAMP program in Alaska in this 2010 Clemson University news article. In 2016, the National Dropout Prevention Network will complete work as a participant on a three-year rural dropout prevention effort that included Alaska and 14 other states across the nation. Congratulations to Alaska schools and leaders for successfully implementing multiple strategies, including professional development, to lower dropout rates and increase graduation rates. And thanks to Alaska’s leaders in education for sharing with others across the nation what works in your state.


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