Vol 16, no 8 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

From the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
August 2016—Vol. 16, No. 8

Register 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 focus of this conference is youth engagement! Dynamic keynotes, more than 75 breakout sessions, educators from all 50 states and Canada and other countries, as well as many new features will make this a great professional development opportunity. Sign up for a two-day pre-conference Teacher Hackathon where you’ll join Ford Motor Company developers, UX/web/graphics designers, and product managers to form teams to build creative solutions to reduce dropout rates. Bring a team and compete for a cash prize. Sign up for optional hands-on, pre-conference workshops. Join site visits to local Detroit schools. Attend the Motown opening reception at the Mosaic Youth Theatre, a Tech Ed breakfast, and as many breakout sessions as you can, including numerous youth-led sessions. Secure your hotel registration while rooms are available and register today at http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2016-national-dropout-prevention-network-conference/

Submit a Proposal to Present and Save the Dates for 2017 At-Risk Youth National FORUM!

2017 At-Risk Youth Natinal FORUM CFP

2017 At-Risk Youth National FORUM!

"Connections That Build Resilience and Success"

February 19–22, 2017

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation

Myrtle Beach, SC

Visit NDPC/N’s Conferences and Events page to submit your proposal to present at the 2017 At-Risk Youth National FORUM and/or save the dates so that you can attend. The theme is “Connections That Build Resilience and Success.” We’re highlighting in particular those extracurricular, outside-of-core-academic relationships that are so important in dropout prevention. Come share your story and hear from others, including Clemson University head football coach, Dabo Swinney; the “Connection Coach,” Tara Brown; and inspirational speaker, Principal Baruti Kafele. For more information, link to http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2017-at-risk-youth-national-forum/

Save the Dates for

2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention For Native And Tribal Communities

April 9–12, 2017

We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center

Scottsdale, AZ

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

NDPC/N 30th

Mark your calendar for the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s 30th Anniversary Celebration on Monday, October 24, 2016, to be held at the NDPC/N home office located at 209 Martin Street, Clemson, SC! If you are located nearby, plan to drop in any time between 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The program will begin at 3:00 PM. If you can’t attend, the program will be live streamed beginning at 2:45 PM. More details and an invitation to follow later!

What Is a Diploma Planning Institute?


Does your school or school district want to or need to develop a dropout prevention plan? NDPC/N has developed a highly successful workshop called The Diploma Planning Institute (DPI), which is designed to help teams from schools/districts/states work on written dropout prevention plans. For more information on this service, visit NDPC/N’s web page http://dropoutprevention.org/diploma-planning-institute/ or contact NDPC/N (864-656-2599) or ndpc@clemson.edufor additional details or to arrange a DPI for your state or region.

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. Visit http://dropoutprevention.org/services-certifications/national-dropout-prevention-specialist-certification-program/ for more information or contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu with any questions or to register for the certification program. NDPC/N has begun posting our new certification program completers on our Web site. Click here to see and read about the first group of certification recipients—a celebrated group indeed!

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

Recently Archived Solutions to the Dropout Crisis “Resiliency: The Missing Piece in Early Warning Systems”

Aired August 9, 2016

August Solutions

Link to http://dropoutprevention.org/webcast/resiliency-missing-piece-early-warning-systems/ to see NDPC/N’s August 9 Solutions to the Dropout Crisis broadcast with related resources. Many school districts use attendance, behavior, and coursework (ABC) data as the key indicators in their early warning systems. Now, with the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) legislation, we must also look deeper at the nonacademic indicators of achievement and improvement. So, what if we could add resiliency and social, emotional data to develop a truer picture of the whole student? Join our guest, LeAnn Stewart, Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction at AdvancePath Academics, as she leads us in exploring the benefits of assessing students’ values, motivations, stress levels, health habits, confidence, and connections and then comparing results to what we know about successful high school graduates. The program includes:

  • real-life examples of how using ABC data only would miss identifying some at-risk students,
  • an overview of resiliency research (including longitudinal studies linking strong resiliency to academic success),
  • an overview of using resiliency data with MTSS and RTI, and
  • planning interventions based on resiliency data.

September Solutions

Next month’s topic will be “Getting It Right: Wise Policy Makes for Effective Dropout Prevention,” with Dr. Susan Bon, Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. Link here on September 13, 2016, 3:30–4:30 PM ET, to join us for this program. Our Solutions webcasts are available at no charge, 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, sponsored by K12 Inc. and FuelEducation. Tune in the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 PM ET for a new Solutions to the Dropout Crisis sponsored by K12 Inc. and FuelEducation.

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.

Do you have youth members on your local school board? Soundout.org has materials related to that topic and how some states and localities are making this happen. Link to a 2014 report (https://soundout.org/wp-content/uploads/edd/2015/01/SoundOut-Guide-to-Students-on-School-Boards-2nd-Edition.pdf) that gives an overview and some examples. Link to their toolbox for state-by-state information, tips, and planning tools (https://soundout.org/students-on-school-boards-toolbox/).

Top Stories

Nationwide Report on Chronic Absenteeism Released

From our friends at the National School Climate Center. The U.S. DOE has released data on chronic absenteeism across the nation for the 2013-2014 school year. All charts are interactive and allow the reader to focus in on specific data points. Rates of absenteeism are disaggregated by race, ELL status, disability, gender, and school level among several other categories. Data on chronic absenteeism is especially valuable and useful when it is analyzed against other school- and district-level data such as school climate, suspension/expulsion rates, incident reports, and teacher turnover.

Guidance on Supporting Homeless Students

From the U.S. Department of Education’s The Teachers Edition eNewsletter. ED releases guidance on supporting homeless students. More than 1 million homeless children and youth are enrolled in public schools, and that number continues to grow. Two-thirds of formerly homeless youth say that homelessness has a significant impact on their education, making it hard to stay and do well in school. See the U.S. Department of Education fact sheet at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/160315ehcyfactsheet072716.pdf Link to the July 2016 Department of Education guidance report, Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Non-Regulatory Guidance: Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Effective Strategies

Parent Engagement

The National Academies of Medicine just released a new consensus study, Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8. The study is the joint effort of experts from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, the Health Resources Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Education, and philanthropic partners. The report includes research on parenting and family engagement as well as policy recommendations. Included also is helpful information on ways agencies and others can support interventions that help parents learn about effective parenting practices. An online version is available as well as a brief.

Read a National Center for Literacy Education SmartBrief titled “3 Ways to Increase Parent Engagement,” which tells the story of how one elementary school is increasing parent engagement. Some of the strategies such as (a) creating routines, (b) presenting parents with clear plans to help their children become more successful, (c) realizing that parents do not want their children to enter into cycles of school failure but may feel helpless to do anything about it, and (d) giving parents hands-on workshops to increase their own skills to better support their children can be applied not just at the elementary school level but with higher age groups as well.

Alternative Education

Find information on how states define alternative education and precedence for exemption for certain compulsory attendance regulations for students enrolled in alternative programs in a report from the Mid-Atlantic REL by Porowski, A., O’Conner, R., & Luo, J. L. (2014). How do states define alternative education? (REL 2014–038). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs.

Professional Development

Active Learning and Student Voice are important dropout prevention strategies for students, but what about teacher voice and teacher agency? A report, Teacher Views and Voices, from the Center on Education Policy finds that 53% of teachers believe that their opinions ARE often factored into decision making at their local schools; however, 76% and 94% believe that their voices are often NOT factored in at the district level and state or national levels, respectively. Read “Five Ways to Increase Teacher Agency in Professional Development” in a recent Edutopia blog on school leadership.

Is teacher stress in the classroom contagious to students? From the U.S. Department of Education’s The Teachers Edition eNewsletter: According to a new study reported by Time.com, when teachers are stressed, so are their students. The study analyzed the cortisol levels of students and teachers and found that students had higher levels of cortisol if their teachers reported higher burnout levels. "It is possible that spending most of the school day in interaction with a stressed and burned-out teacher is taxing for students and can affect their physiological stress profile." Original source: Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2016, June). Stress contagion in the classroom? The link between classroom burnout and morning cortisol in elementary school students. Social Science & Medicine, 159, p. 35.

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.


From ED Review, 8/12/16. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) have recently issued a number of statements and guidance pieces for schools and stakeholders related to supporting all students. OCR issued guidance detailing the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. OCR also released a new “Know Your Rights” document for students with ADHD. In the last five years, OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in K-12 programs, and more than 10% involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD. OSERS issued guidance emphasizing the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities. The guidance also explains that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that students with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and support through the Individualized Education Program (IEP). And, OSERS released two resource documents: assisting teachers with classroom management strategies and assisting schools in implementing schoolwide behavioral strategies. See the August 12 ED Review for more information.

Funding Sources

Funding Sources for Schools

The Community Matters web page http://community-matters.org/programs-and-services/funding-sources-for-schools provides a list of foundations and corporate funding sources as well as a funding toolkit that contains sample templates for creating compelling proposals and building alliances and partnerships. A 2011 guide to help schools secure funds for whole school climate improvement programs can be found here: http://www.safeschoolambassadors.org/transfers/FundingToolkit.pdf

From ED Review, 8/12/16. Enhanced Assessment Grants seek to improve the quality of assessments and provide opportunities for innovative solutions to create better, more meaningful tests, so that parents and educators will have the information they need and states and districts can better identify resources to support students and schools. Applicants will compete for $8.86 million in funding. The U.S. Department of Education will select grantees that demonstrate a focus on collaborating with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of state academic assessments; gauging student academic achievement using a variety of measures; charting student process over time; and evaluating student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment. Due Date: 09/22/16

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