National Dropout Prevention Center Awards Nation’s First Trauma-Skilled School Certification to South Carolina Alternative Program

For Immediate Release

For Additional Information Contact:

Lynn Dunlap

National Dropout Prevention Center

Phone: 864-280-2532

Email: ldunlap@

School District of Greenville County Alternative Program Completes Certification During National Dropout Prevention Month

Anderson, SC (October 27, 2020)—The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) is pleased to award the nation’s first certification in the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model to the Alternative Program of the School District of Greenville County. The certification is the result of a two-year process led by Dr. Kathie Greer, Director of Alternative Programs and who is herself a Trauma-Skilled Specialist and certified Trauma-Skilled Schools Model trainer.

“Certification was the goal for our alternative programs and we accomplished it. However, the benefits of trauma-skilled training for staff and students are ongoing,” Greer notes. “We will continue to apply our training going forward because we have seen the tremendous value for our students.”

Trauma and chronic stress can negatively impact students’ academic performance and behavior, leading to students’ disengagement from school and their potentially dropping out of school before graduation. NDPC’s Trauma-Skilled Schools Model is a Tier 1 intervention designed to address the needs of all students in developing the resilience skills needed to excel in school and in life. Students in alternative programs particularly benefit due to the high at-risk population of alternative schools.

School District of Greenville County Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster said, “The Trauma-Skilled Schools Model is a Tier 1 approach that creates a culture that effectively supports and responds to trauma-impacted students and fosters the development of skills which enable them to fully engage in the learning process. It is especially important to students in our alternative programs who are most in need of additional supports to successfully transition from these structured learning environments back into traditional settings.”

 “The fact that awarding the nation’s first certification occurs during National Dropout Prevention Month is particularly meaningful,” said Ray McNulty, President of the National Dropout Prevention Center and its parent organization Successful Practices Network. “With the challenges presented by the pandemic and subsequent school disruptions, students are vulnerable to disengaging from school now more than ever. I applaud the Greenville County Schools Alternative Program for their proactive commitment to meeting students’ changing needs through the application of skills specifically related to trauma-impacted students.”

Photo Caption: Dr. Kathie Greer, Director of Alternative Programs for the School District of Greenville County (SC), acknowledges staff and for their dedication and hard work in assisting the Alternative Program to achieve certification in the Trauma-Skilled Schools Model as Tommy Stephens (left), Program Director for the National Dropout Prevention Center, awards the certificate to Septtroplex Sene (right), math teacher at Donaldson Middle School Alternative in Greenville, SC.


About the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC)
The NDPC was begun in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America’s schools. Over the years, the NDPC has become a well-established national resource for sharing solutions for student success. It does so through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and through a variety of professional development activities. The organization’s Web site——is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. In addition, the NDPC conducts a variety of third-party evaluations and Program Assessment and Reviews (PARs) for schools and districts nationwide. By promoting awareness of successful programs and policies related to dropout prevention, the NDPC impacts education from the local to the national level.

About Successful Practices Network (SPN)

SPN was founded in 2003 by Dr. Bill Daggett, and led by Ray McNulty, with an initial five-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since inception, the nonprofit has won multiple additional grants that have allowed the organization to conduct proprietary research and create exclusive instructional and assessment tools that are shared broadly with a network of users. SPN has also worked one-on-one with educators at the state, district and school levels, helping all craft a plan to improve student-centered learning as tailored to their unique school and student needs. Learn more at

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