Vol 15, no 12 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
December 2015 - Vol. 15, No. 12

Register Now for the 2016 At-Risk Youth National Forum: Reaching Beyond the Risk

February 14-17, 2016

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation

Myrtle Beach, SC

2016 National Dropout Prevention FORUM

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, in partnership with the Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University; South Carolina Department of Education; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Watson College of Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington; Dropout Prevention Coalition, University of North Carolina Wilmington; William L. Spadoni College of Education, Coastal Carolina University; Communities In Schools of North Carolina; Communities In Schools of South Carolina; and The Citadel School of Education, invites you to attend the 2016 At-Risk Youth National Forum, Reaching Beyond the Risk. Featured speakers include Stacy Dewitt, BGen. Stewart Rodeheaver, and Terry Dozier. Strands of interest include (a) Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math; (b) Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement; (c) Community, Family, and Student Engagement; (d) Interacting With Specific Populations; (e) Leadership, Policy, and Governance; (f) Life Skills and Personal Development; (g) School Climate; and (h) Out-Of-School/Community Programs. For more information, link here. To register, follow this link. We hope to see you in Myrtle Beach!

Submit a Proposal to Present, and Plan to Attend the 2016 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

March 6–9, 2016

Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel

Oklahoma City, OK

2016 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

Topic strands for this forum include (a) Addressing the Opportunity Gap, (b) Instructional Strategies to Increase Learning, (c) Behavioral Supports, (d) Family and Community Engagement, (e) School Climate: Safety and Student Wellness, (f) Service-Learning and Restorative Justice, (g) Digital Communication and Engagement, (h) Reengagement and Recovery Strategies, and (i) Culture and Language. The Call for Proposals to Present is open through December 31, 2015. Hotel reservations are also now being accepted. Click on this link, http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2016-national-forum-dropout-prevention-native-tribal-communities/, for more information about this event.

Save the Dates!

Save the dates for the following events and stay tuned for more information and calls for proposals to present. If you need information before then, you may contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu and we’ll be glad to help.

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

June 26-29, 2016

Embassy Suites Orlando-Lake Buena Vista South

Kissimmee, FL

Are you familiar with trauma-informed education? Do you know how to identify, and treat with compassion and effectiveness, students who are victims of sporadic or chronic trauma? Are you yourself in danger of compassion fatigue? Plan to attend this conference to learn skills and strategies that will help reach wounded students. A limited Call for Proposals to Present will open soon.

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

October 2-5, 2016

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Detroit, MI

Make plans to attend now. This is sure to be one of our largest, most exciting and informative network conferences ever!

Diploma Planning Institute

Are schools in your district, state, or region working on dropout prevention and graduation improvement plans? Would you like NDPC/N staff to help guide that work? Consider having NDPC/N host one or more Diploma Planning Institutes (DPI) in your state. DPIs give teams of school personnel the opportunity to work on written dropout prevention plans based on strategies that have been researched and found to be effective. The strategies put forward by the National Dropout Prevention Center are built into the dropout prevention plans of many states throughout the nation and are considered the standard in dropout prevention planning. Visit NDPC/N’s home page at www.dropoutprevention.org, and view a short video filmed during a summer 2015 DPI in Maine. Contact NDPC/N at 864-656-2599 or ndpc@clemson.edu for more information or to arrange a Diploma Planning Institute for your state or region.

National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

Specialist Certifiation Program

We now offer a certification program for educators and those who work with and/or on behalf of students at risk of dropping out of school. The National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program verifies participant knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The 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. If you are accepted into the program, you may begin work immediately at the very next NDPC/N conference or event. Contact us or go to this Web page for more information and to join our NDPS army of practitioners across the nation who are officially becoming better informed and networked, as well as recognized, in their fight to end the school dropout crisis.

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

“School Transformation Through a Social and Emotional Learning Based Freshman Seminar”

December 8, 2015

3:30–4:30 PM ET

December Solutions

Mr. R. Keeth Matheny, teacher, instructional coach, author, and speaker, Austin Independent School District (AISD), Austin, TX, is a Social and Emotional Learning Model Teacher and has been the driving force behind the creation, implementation, and promotion of AISD’s MAPS (Methods for Academic and Personal Success) program. The MAPS program is designed to support freshmen as they transition into high school by teaching skills to help them succeed in school, relationships, the workforce, and life. Over a four-year period, the MAPS program has helped to reduce freshman course failures at Austin High School by 41%, dropouts by 30%, and discipline referrals by 71%. Matheny and two Austin High School students will be guests on the December Solutions program where you will learn:

  • The value of preventative efforts and why the freshman year is a pivotal moment
  • What Social and Emotional Learning is, and why it is important
  • What MAPS is–the Freshman Seminar and MAPS components
  • Program tips and reasoning
  • What students like best about the MAPS course and lessons

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.

From Our Research Fellows

Research Fellow Shanan Chappell Moots brought to our attention a story about the Open Campus High School, a dropout recovery program that began last year in Norfolk (VA) Public Schools. The program is part of the school district’s Transformation Initiative, which is accomplished through a partnership with EdisonLearning and Magic Johnson Bridgescape companies. Read more about Norfolk Public Schools’ successes with these initiatives here.

Top Stories

A new report finds that the number of high school dropouts decreased from 1 million in 2008 to approximately 750,000 in 2012. The report also finds that there is much work yet to be done, with 1,235 high schools failing to graduate one third or more of their students. Download the report and fact sheet here to discover why grassroots efforts that targeted dropout rates were so successful.

Effective Strategies

School-Community Collaboration

A public-private partnership between New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York, and IBM has created a school in Brooklyn and a program called Pathways in Technology (P-TECH). P-TECH is a program where students can earn a high school diploma and an associate degree within six years. Learn more about this new program and the results it is producing here.

Educational Technology

Classrooms incorporate new technologies to enhance students’ educational experiences. Today there are countless technologies for the classroom, with smartphones and tablets making it as easy as ever. This site contains 50 digital education tools specifically designed for formative assessment success. For a full list of all of these technologies visit this Web page from the Northwest Evaluation Association in Portland, OR.

Family Engagement

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a free-to-access English Learner Tool Kit. The tool kit includes chapters on identifying English Learner (EL) students; staffing, supporting, and evaluating EL programs; and tips on how to ensure meaningful communications with Limited English Proficient (LEP) parents.

Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education’s recently released English Learner Tool Kit includes a chapter on tools and resources for identifying and addressing English Learners with Disabilities.


Watch this inspiring story about how one mom’s tough love helped a 15-year-old boy turn his life around. Orlando Franklin had just been arrested with a bright future dwindling. But Franklin was able to change his life and is now a successful NFL player. Find out how Franklin was able to accomplish this and more here.

See and hear about this Spokane, WA, student’s touching Instagram account created with the hopes of combatting social media cruelty.


Since 2012, the OECD has published an annual Education Policy Outlook report. The reports outline various reform efforts in countries around the globe. The reports are particularly useful for policymakers wishing to learn from efforts outside of their own national borders. Read the 2015 report here.


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