Vol 6, no 2 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
February 2016—Vol. 16, No. 2

It's not too late to register 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

Join us in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC, for this great conference to learn more about STEM, STEAM, Community/Family/Student Engagement, Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement, Special Populations, Leadership/Policy/Governance, Life Skills/Personal Development, School Climate, and Out-of-School Time. For more information, link here. Register now at this link. We hope to see you on the SC coast this month!

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

This event focuses on Native and Tribal Community issues and you do not want to miss this one! Session strands 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 look for more information to come. If you need information now on any of these events, contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu.

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 is now open at this link.

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

NDPC/N can host one or more Diploma Planning Institutes (DPI) in your state to facilitate work on written dropout prevention plans for schools and districts based on strategies that have been researched and found to be effective. For more information on this service, visit www.dropoutprevention.org/diploma-planning-institute/ and 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

Join a growing army of educators and practitioners working 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. Go to this Web page for more information or contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu with any questions to register.

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

"Is Recess the Most Underutilized Opportunity in Schools Today?"

February 9, 2016

3:30–4:30 PM ET

February Solutions

Recess is an essential component for students to succeed and grow in school. Yet, many schools have cut back on recess time and frequency to focus on academic content. Dr. Dave Fleming, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in Clemson University's Eugene T. Moore School of Education and a Research Fellow of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, presents this program focusing on what the research says about the impact recess has on indirect factors such as academics and direct factors such as youth development. Topics include:

  • Defining recess
  • Recess status and policies here and elsewhere
  • Recess and academic, physical, and social skills development impact
  • Recess—Should it be unstructured or structured?
  • What you can do to support recess

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.

Happy Anniversary! February 2016 marks the eight year anniversary of the NDPC/N's professional development program, Solutions to the Dropout Crisis. In the beginning, this program was in radio format and participants followed along by moving through a pdf PowerPoint document. Our first guest was NDPN Board Member, Dr. Steven W. Edwards. His topic was "The Role of the Principal in Dropout Prevention." You can still access that program at http://dropoutprevention.org/webcast/1-role-principal-dropout-prevention/. Dr. Edwards also authored a book on the topic, The Principal's Role in Dropout Prevention: Seven Key Strategies, which is available at the NDPC/N Store.

Youth Engagement

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Research Fellows are increasing their focus on the topic of youth engagement (in school and community) and how youth engagement relates to dropout prevention and graduation rate improvement. Along those lines, the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update eNewsletter plans to bring at least one article related to that topic to your attention each month.

We often think of dropout prevention as a student problem that can only be solved by adults. Research Fellow, Terry Pickeral, offers several blog entries to help us think larger. For example, one entry, "Dropout Prevention: Who Solves the Problem," helps us look at dropout prevention in a way that actively involves both adults and students who are invested in solving this problem. In another entry about early warning systems, "Strength-Based Education," he asks educators, counselors, and other adults who are involved in the academic lives of students to focus on students' strengths, passions, and interest in order to reach them at the most effective level, thus making learning more impactful and relevant as they continue their education.

The U.S. Department of Education publishes a free monthly eNewsletter called Ed Youth Voices. See archived copies and subscribe at https://www.ed.gov/student-info/newsletter-archive.

Effective Strategies

Safe Learning Environments

Researchers focusing on Native language revitalization and support of Native culture to enhance American Indian student academic achievement and school engagement may find a recent report from REL Central Region useful. The report provides information about the location and native language use of schools in that region (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming). Schools located in counties with the highest concentration of Native North American language speakers are in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.


A new effort is underway where colleges and universities are radically transforming traditional admissions processes. Instead of focusing primarily on SAT scores, ACT scores, and academic performance, schools are turning more attention to personal essays, recommendations, and genuine commitments to community service. Read a U.S. News and World Report article and a new report, Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern For Others And The Common Good Through College Admissions, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Professional Development

Are introverted teachers facing burnout more than their extroverted counterparts? Read The Atlantic’s article that points out that introverts, either students are teachers, often have needs not addressed in many schools. Some educators are feeling drained by the insistent emphasis on collaboration and “social learning”—and the constant drain of “collaborative overload” could be undermining their students’ achievement. Check out the article here.

Educational Technology

In this SmartBlog on Education, elementary school principal, Matt Renwick, discusses three topics related to utilizing educational technology: a) Digital reading is different than reading in print, b) Social media matters, and c) Choose wisely when incorporating mobile technology. Renwick has also authored a book on the topic, 5 Myths About Classroom Technology: How Do We Integrate Digital Tools to Truly Enhance Learning?


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