National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Releases New Resources to Improve Rural Graduation Rates

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Releases New Resources to Improve Rural Graduation Rates
Resources Available Online at No Cost

 

CLEMSON, S.C. (July 26, 2017) – The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N) at Clemson University has just released four new tools to help rural schools and districts improve graduation rates. The resources are available to educators across the nation at no cost by accessing the Rural Resources section of the NDPC/N website at www.dropoutprevention.org/rural-dropout-prevention-resources/. The tools can also be supplemented by other NDPC/N resources and assistance from NDPC/N staff.

Dr. Sandy Addis, Director of NDPC/N states, “School dropout rates remain a major concern for many of our nation’s rural schools and communities. Rural school systems often can’t access, or can’t afford, the tools and technical assistance needed to address the problem. The National Dropout Prevention Center is committed to assisting these school systems in any way possible.”

The new resources focus on training local school leaders and decision-makers, assisting them with dropout recovery and supporting the work of graduation coaches in rural schools. Resources include The Rural Principal’s Guide to Dropout Prevention, a conceptual framework that specifically addresses the unique needs of rural schools; The Local School Board’s Role in Dropout Prevention, a facilitated presentation for school superintendents’ use in guiding informed policy decisions relative to dropout prevention; Recovery and Reengagement Initiatives in Rural Contexts, a self-assessment instrument that rural school districts can use to score and improve their dropout recovery efforts; and A Guide for Rural High School Graduation Coach Implementation, a guide that assists rural high schools to consider, design and implement a graduation coach program as a dropout prevention measure.

Dean George Petersen, Founding Dean of Clemson University’s College of Education, notes, “Developing tools and resources for small and sometimes underresourced rural school systems is an important part of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s mission. Providing these new dropout prevention tools is consistent with Clemson University’s mission to support the challenged and underserved schools and communities of both South Carolina and the nation.”

Authored by Dr. Sandy Addis, Dr. Sandy Bales, and Dr. Richard Krise, The Rural Principal’s Guide to Dropout Prevention identifies key dropout prevention practices, such as early identification of at-risk students, policy and procedure analysis, community engagement, social isolation and grade transition. The guide takes into account the multiple duties and limited resources typically experienced by rural principals.

The Local School Board’s Role in Dropout Prevention offers school district superintendents a guided resource that can be edited to include local data and information. The resource serves as a prompt for discussion of dropout rates by school board members. The presentation was developed by Dr. Sandy Addis and Dr. Sandy Bales.

Recovery and Reengagement Initiatives in Rural Contexts addresses the challenge of finding, reenrolling and reengaging dropouts in rural communities. Educators often need to evaluate and improve these programs but lack resources for external evaluation and technical assistance. The resource adapts research-based recovery program criteria to the rural context and yields a rating of the local program that can then be used to focus change efforts. The instrument was developed by Dr. Sandy Bales and Dr. Sandy Addis.

A Guide for Rural High School Graduation Coach Implementation addresses building support for a graduation coach program, funding the initiative, selecting the right personnel and developing the job description. It also includes a readiness assessment, task checklists and budget planning worksheets. The guide was authored by Dr. Sandy Bales and Dr. Sandy Addis.

The new rural dropout prevention resources are found in the Rural Resources section of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s website at www.dropoutprevention.org/rural-dropout-prevention-resources/ and are based on work funded by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the High School Graduation Initiative Program.

About National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N)

Established in 1986 with a mission to reduce dropout rates, NDPC/N shares solutions for student success and dropout prevention through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications and a variety of professional development activities and conferences. The organization’s website—www.dropoutprevention.org—is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. The NDPC/N is housed in the College of Education at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.

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For Additional Information Contact:
Lynn Dunlap, Director of Public Information
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
Phone: 864-656-2678
Email: ldunlap@clemson.edu