Vol 17, no 1 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

From the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
January 2017—Vol. 17, No. 1

Registration Open!

2017 At-Risk Youth National FORUM

“Connections That Build Resilience and Success”

February 19–22, 2017

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation

Myrtle Beach, SC

2017 At-Risk Youth Natinal FORUM CFP

Register today for the February 19–22, 2017, At-Risk Youth National FORUM. Session strands include athletics and extracurricular connections; juvenile justice and law enforcement; community, family, and student engagement; interacting with specific populations; learning and instruction; lifeskills and personal development; school climate; and out-of-school/community programs. Keynote speakers include current national championship team coaches Dabo Swinney (Clemson University head football coach, 2016 College Football National Champions) and Gary Gilmore (Coastal Carolina head baseball coach, 2016 College World Series Champions); the “Connection Coach,” Tara Brown; and inspirational speaker, Principal Baruti Kafele. To register and for more information, visit http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2017-at-risk-youth-national-forum/

2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

"Building Engaging Educational Communities for Native Students"

April 9–12, 2017

We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center

Scottsdale, AZ

2017 Native and Tribal Communities Conference

Registration to attend and the Call for Proposals to present are now open for the 2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities. This year, we’re focusing on strategies to work with native students who are at risk of dropping out of school before high school graduation, including addressing the opportunity gap, instructional strategies, behavioral supports, community engagement, and more. The call for proposals to present will be open through January 27. For more information, link to http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2017-national-forum-dropout-prevention-native-tribal-communities/

Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

"A Trauma-Informed Approach to Helping Youth Beyond At Risk"

June 25–28, 2017

Rosen Centre Hotel

Orlando, FL

2017 RTWSC

Registration to attend and the Call for Proposals to present are open for the 2017 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference in Orlando, FL. The conference will be an excellent staff development event for school/district administrators, teachers, counselors, and community and faith-based youth practitioners. The call for proposals to present will be open through March 17. Find out more at http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2017-reaching-the-wounded-student-conference/

Save the Dates for

The Freshman Success Conference

“Strong Start—Successful Finish”

June 25–28, 2017

Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, FL

2017 FSC

Occurring concurrently and in the same location as our Reaching the Wounded Student Conference, The Freshman Success Conference will be an opportunity for those working with ninth-grade students to learn more about how to promote and foster their success in school. Link to http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/the-freshman-success-conference/ for more information.

2017 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

October 22–25, 2017

Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel and Convention Center

Palm Springs, CA

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.edu for additional details or to arrange a DPI for your state or region.

Diploma Planning Institute—Ohio

February 23–24, 2017

ESC of Central Ohio

Columbus, OH


Registration is open for teams to attend a DPI February 23–24. The NDPC/N and the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, Columbus, OH, are teaming up to offer a two-day DPI open to all who would like to attend. For more information and to register, visit http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/diploma-planning-institute-ohio-2017_02_23-24/

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 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 to register for the certification program, or contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu with any questions. NDPC/N has begun posting our new certification program completers on our website. Click here to see and read about the first group of certification recipients—a celebrated group indeed!

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

"Alternative Education: 'Setting a Trend, Breaking a Trend'"

Aired January 10, 2016

3:30–4:30 PM ET

January Solutions

Click here to view the webcast.

Anderson County Alternative School Director, Randolph Dillingham, and 1SG Rodney McCullough discuss one alternative school model school in Anderson, SC. Since 1996, the school has established itself as a place where students in grades 6–12, some of whom have been expelled or removed from public school or have been court ordered to attend, can get back on track for graduation.

In the school’s structured environment, students adhere to a dress code, including wearing a uniform. They also participate in academic classes tailored to individual student abilities and experience real-life training through the school’s Students in Realistic Training program. Social and emotional learning and family relationship building geared to enhancing positive change are emphasized to allow students an opportunity to experience success they may not have experienced in a traditional classroom. The school also involves the business and faith communities in creating opportunities for teaching life skills and acquainting students with experiences that will follow them through adulthood.

This webcast explores this school’s processes, outcomes, and lessons learned, including

  • involving the community,
  • providing wraparound counseling services,
  • modeling expected behaviors, and
  • breaking the patterns of self-limiting behaviors.

Viewing our Solutions webcasts is always 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, sponsored by K12 Inc. and FuelEducation.

Next month’s Solutions topic will be the importance of socio-emotional learning in dropout prevention with guest John Gailer, Assistant Director of the NDPC/N. That program will air on February 14, 2017.

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.

NDPC/N Research Fellow Terry Pickeral’s recent blog on “The Intersection of Student Engagement and School Climate” takes an in-depth look at the importance of both student engagement in and out of the classroom and safe, trusting, effective, and healthy school climates. Terry also describes the connection between the two and explains how important school climate is to successful student engagement.

The United Nations launched The World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement in July 2016, exploring youth participation in economic, political, and community life. The report provides insights on engagement along with expert opinion pieces to provide a well-rounded perspective on youth engagement.

Top Stories

The Digest of Education Statistics, 2015, the 51st in a series of publications initiated in 1962, provides a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). You can view and download pdfs of Digests from 1990 to 2015 and view the most current tables, such as Table 501.30: “Number and percentage of persons 18 to 24 years old who were neither enrolled in school nor working, by educational attainment, age group, sex, family poverty status, and race/ethnicity: 2015”

Effective Strategies

Safe Learning Environments

A new report from NCES, Student Reports of Bullying: Results From the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (pdf), presents tables and data from the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey to show the relationship between bullying victimization and other variables of interest such as the reported presence of gangs, guns, drugs, and alcohol at school; select security measures; student criminal victimization; and personal fear, avoidance behaviors, fighting, and weapon-carrying at school.

The U.S. Department of Education announced a new grant program—Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities—to support districts in increasing socioeconomic diversity in schools to improve student achievement. As part of this competition, the Department will invest $12 million in up to 20 districts or groups of districts to support the development of blueprints for increasing socioeconomic diversity in schools and complete pre-implementation activities. Districts with schools that receive or are eligible to receive School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding may apply for the completion, which is open until February 13, 2017.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS), in collaboration with the National Center on Save Supportive Learning Environments, is hosting a series of webinars about the non-regulatory guidance on the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment (ESSA Title IV, Part A) grants. These grants seek to increase the capacity of states, districts, schools, and communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; improve school conditions to boost student learning; and improve the effective use of technology to increase the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. The first webinar—an overview of the grants—was on January 12, and is archived on the site. The next webinar will be January 26. 2017, at 2:00 p.m. ET., and will cover the role of SEAs. After that, on February 9, the topic will be allowable activities under ESSA, Title IV, Part A.

Early Childhood Education

From IES National Center for Education Research (NCER), National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), and Westat, Executive Function: Implication for Education is a new report delving into the importance of executive function (EF) skills (e.g., attention regulation, frustration tolerance, self-regulation, focus); the role EF plays on school and future success; developmental changes in EF; individual differences; and the malleability of EF.

Early Literacy Development

From IES’s REL Southeast, a new Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Facilitator's Guide for the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade. This guide focuses on foundational reading skills that enable students to read words, relate those words to their oral language, and read connected text with sufficient accuracy and fluency to understand what they read. The practice guide presents four recommendations that educators can use to improve literacy skills in the early grades. PLC materials included are designed to assist a PLC literacy leader in guiding the PLC to apply the four recommendations. Materials include a facilitator's guide, related handouts and participant activities, and videos. Ten PLC sessions are included and complemented with 38 YouTube video links (to illustrate practices presented in the guide), participant activities, discussion questions, small- and whole-group activities, and implementation and reflection activities.

Educational Technology

ED’s OSHS Prevention News Digest, Vol. 12, No. 49, points us to a new bulletin examining the role of technology in youth harassment and victimization. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJJDP) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) have released The Role of Technology in Youth Harassment Victimization. This bulletin summarizes the findings of the NIJ-sponsored Technology Harassment Victimization study, which is a follow-up study to the second National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence sponsored by OJJDP. The study examined technology-involved harassment within the context of other types of youth victimization and risk factors. The data reveal that mixed-peer harassment—involving both in-person and technology-based elements—is the most traumatic for victims, especially those who have been victimized in multiple ways in the past and are facing numerous stressors in their present lives. Other related resources include OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide (MPG); new Implementation Guide on School-Based Bullying Prevention; other publications in OJJDP's Justice Research Series (7 titles to date); and OJJDP's National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence Series (8 titles to date), found by searching for the specific series name at https://www.ojjdp.gov/publications/PubSearch.asp

An annual survey, Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, remains open through January 27, 2017. The survey assesses the role of technology for learning in and out of school and how schools leverage technology. There is no charge for schools and districts to participate. Participants will receive local data results with state and national comparisons.

Professional Development

Congratulations to NDPC/N’s home college. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Clemson University’s College of Education among the best online education programs in the nation in 2017. The college’s online education program ranks 10th in a highly competitive list of master of arts degree-granting institutions for its Master of Education in Teaching and Learning. Read More

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