Vol 16, no 5 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

From the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
May 2016—Vol. 16, No. 5

Registration Open for Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

June 26–29, 2016

Embassy Suites Orlando-Lake Buena Vista South

Kissimmee, FL

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

Trauma-informed education is one of the hot topics in education today. Register to attend this event to be held near Orlando, FL, June 26-29, and learn how to identify and appropriately treat students who are victims of sporadic or chronic trauma, such as abuse, poverty, abandonment, or family instability. Learn tips to help you and your staff avoid compassion fatigue or empathy burnout. Conference strands include: School Safety, Emotional Literacy, Counseling/Therapeutic Insights, Creating Community, Learning/Academic Achievement, and Practitioner Health and Well-Being. For more information and to register, link here: http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-reaching-the-wounded-student-conference/event-summary-35fc6704885e4b68b1e91917284c5664.aspx

Registration Open for Diploma Planning Institute

July 21–22, 2016

Jonesboro, GA

2016 DPI Georgia

Teams working on school or district dropout prevention plans are encouraged to register for the July 21-22 Diploma Planning Institute to be held in Jonesboro, GA. This workshop is open to all. Staff from NDPC/N will lead your team through a framework for dropout prevention and through the development of a locally specific action plan that can begin to be implemented immediately upon return from the workshop. Click here http://www.cvent.com/events/diploma-planning-institute/event-summary-119d571d7e1b460dad4fff494468bdd4.aspx to register and for more information.

Registration Open for 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

October 2–5, 2016

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Detroit, MI

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

Register now for the 2016 Network conference. The call for proposals to present is also open through June 1. The focus of this conference will be youth engagement! Visit the 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference page for a special invitation from motivational speaker, Eric Thomas; to register for this event; or for more details. Keynoters include Russell Quaglia and Barrington Irving. Other planned activities include a pre-conference Teacher Hackathon, site visits, a Motown opening reception at the Mosaic Youth Theatre, a Tech Ed breakfast, and more than 75 breakout sessions in total including numerous youth-led sessions. Links to sponsorship information, the call for proposals to present, and hotel information can also be found on the conference page.

Save the Dates:

2017 At-Risk Youth National FORUM!

February 19–22, 2017

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation

Myrtle Beach, SC

What is a Diploma Planning Institute?


Over the past two years, NDPC/N has conducted more than a half-dozen Diploma Planning Institutes (DPI) in districts and states across the nation to help teams from schools/districts work on written dropout prevention plans. For more information on this service, visit www.dropoutprevention.org/diploma-planning-institute/; view a short video filmed during a summer 2015 DPI in Maine; and contact NDPC/N at 864-656-2599 or ndpc@clemson.edu for more details or to arrange a DPI for your state or region. An event open to all is planned for July 21-22, 2016, in Georgia. Link here or see the promotion above for more information on that DPI event.

What is the National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program?

Specialist Certifiation Program

Join a growing army of educators and practitioners identified as working with and/or on behalf of students at risk of dropping out of school. The National Dropout Prevention Specialist (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. This certification verifies and strengthens dropout prevention experience and expertise and facilitates networking with others equally dedicated to dropout prevention. Go to this Web page for more information or contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu with any questions or to register for certification.

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

“PAR (Program Assessment and Review): Behind the Scenes”

May 10, 2016

3:30–4:30 PM ET

May Solutions

This Solutions to the Dropout Crisis program will present details related to one district’s Program Assessment and Review (PAR) by the National Dropout Prevention Center. Guests Tiffany Osborne and Leonard Galloway, both middle school principals in Anderson District Five, Anderson, SC, will share highlights of how their schools and district prepared for team visits, how the weeklong visits went, and what their next steps were afterwards. They will share some ways that they have taken the PAR teams’ feedback and implemented strategies in their schools that have impacted real positive changes. They plan for viewers to be able to answer these essential questions by the end of the program:

  • What is a PAR?
  • What steps should a school and district take to prepare?
  • How can a PAR or similar review benefit schools and districts?

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.

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 Dropout Prevention Update eNewsletter plans to bring at least one article related to that topic to your attention each month. An excellent example of how youth engagement can be enhanced through service-learning appears in the “Effective Strategies” section below.

Youth telling their stories is an element of any successful youth engagement strategy. Link to this AmericanGraduate Web page to see how Washington D.C. middle and high school students are sharing personal stories as well as stories about their communities through WHUT Television, StoryCorpsU, the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, 826DC, and Critical Exposure.

Effective Strategies

Systemic Approach

From NASBE Communications (www.nasbe.org): The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encourages states to rethink their assessment and accountability systems. Before the law goes into effect, states can utilize the flexibility offered under existing federal funds to streamline their assessment frameworks. A new National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Policy Update highlights two states—Illinois and Tennessee—that have taken the initiative to evaluate and inventory their systems. The Update outlines ways other states can follow suit. Download the Policy Update "Flexibility for Streamlining Tests."

From the Institute of Education Statistics (IES), U.S. Department of Education: Projections of Education Statistics to 2023 provides projections of key education statistics including enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures for elementary and secondary schools. Most of the projections are at the national level, but enrollment and high school graduation projections are at the state level.

Also from IES: A new report, Case Studies of Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants—Final Report, tracks the implementation of School Improvement Grants (SIG) by examining the actions and reactions of 25 SIG schools as they attempt to turn around a history of low performance.

Family Engagement

The educational stakes and opportunities appear to escalate as students transition from elementary to middle school and then middle to high school. Read this America’s Promise Alliance article that presents three topics critical for parents to understand as their children transition to upper levels of school: the importance of attendance every day, the importance of achievement every year, and the importance of attainment over time (and having a plan for attainment over time). With parental support on these three understandings, children will be better supported and encouraged to engage and stay in school.

Transitioning from elementary to middle or middle to high school can also be a time when students get behind academically or struggle with social issues, both which can lead to risk of dropping out of school. Read tips, for parents and students, from Duke University’s TIP program in this article: “The Social and Emotional Transition to Middle School.”


“If Facebook were its own country, it would be the third most populated in the world. . . . More video content is uploaded to YouTube in a 60-day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years.” These and other facts are the lead-ins for an article in the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) Schoolcounselor blog titled “The Brave New World of Social Media.” While social media is often cited as a vehicle for bullying and other behavior that can lead to school dropout, social media may also be a component in the counselor’s toolkit for preventing dropout. This article gives tips on how it is possible for school counselors, mentors, tutors, and others working with youth, to harness the potential benefits of social media without violating ethical or legal boundaries. Read also ASCA’s “The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media in Your Counseling Program.” A research article, “Social Media and Professional School Counselors: Ethical and Legal Considerations,” presents additional research and information.


Congratulations to Connecticut social studies teacher, Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Watch a “CBS This Morning” video of this teacher (who was at risk of dropping out of school in high school) and her students, and how she uses service-learning as a learning engagement strategy and a way of empowering students through community service. Read more about Hayes’ story in a news article from the Hartford Courant.

Career and Technology Education (CTE)

From Jim Stone at NRCCTE at SREB (www.nrccte.org): The Journal of School & Society, an online publication of The John Dewey Society, just published an issue devoted entirely to the future of vocational education (career and technical education). Volume 3 (2016), with 10 articles on vocational education, can be downloaded here. Some highlights include articles about satisfaction in teaching CTE, attractiveness of and sustainability in STEM careers, and career and technical education in the second decade of the 21st century. Sprinkled throughout this issue are references to how vocational education and CTE can increase student and community engagement with schools.

Call for Manuscripts

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network publishes two journals: The Journal of At-Risk Issues and ENGAGE: The International Journal of Research and Practice on Student Engagement. We are soliciting manuscripts to consider for publication. Link to our “Journals” Web page for more information on each journal’s focus and audience as well as “Call for Manuscripts” guidelines for each journal. Contact ndpc@clemson.edu with any general questions regarding these journals and submission guidelines.


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