Vol 15, no 2 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
September 2015 - Vol. 15, No. 9

2015 National Dropout Prevention Center Network Conference

2015 National Dropout Prevention Conference

October 25-28, 2015

Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX

Join us for the 2015 National Dropout Prevention Network conference to be held October 25-28 on the beautiful Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX! We’re expecting over 1,000 teachers, counselors, administrators, practitioners, and policymakers to attend and share dropout prevention and graduation improvement challenges and solutions. This year’s theme is “TAKE A STAND For Student Success.” Ford Motor Company Fund is sure to bring some excitement to the conference as a major sponsor, and we will have opportunities to hear from young people in several special sessions. This conference will focus on strengthening school, community/community agency, and family collaboration for support of students struggling or at risk of dropping out of school. You will not want to miss this event in San Antonio! For more information including conference fees, keynote speakers, presenters, and/or to register, visit http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2015-national-dropout-prevention-network-conference/

2015 Diploma Planning Institute

2015 DPI

September 20-23, 2015

IP Casino Resort & Spa, Biloxi, MS

It’s not too late for your team to attend the 2015 Diploma Planning Institute (DPI), an opportunity for teams of school and/or district administrators and personnel to meet and work on their dropout prevention plans, with guidance from NDPC and a team of experts. DPI’s goal is to help schools develop customized, practical, and local plans to lessen dropout rates and increase graduation rates. Plan on bringing your team to Mississippi later this month. Visit http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/diploma-planning-institute/ to register or for more information.

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 At-Risk Youth National FORUM: Reaching Beyond the Risk

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

  • October 2-5, 2016
  • Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI

National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

If you work with or on behalf of youth at risk of dropping out of school, you’ll want to enroll in our National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program. The certification will verify 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 link 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

"Reaching the Wounded Student"

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

3:30 – 4:30 PM ET

In the September 8 Solutions to the Dropout Crisis program, Dr. Joseph Hendershott, founder of Hope 4 the Wounded Educational Seminars, focuses on how to reach the “wounded” student: that student suffering from the deep scars of emotional, physical, and/or mental pain. “Reaching the Wounded Student” will focus on how to identify a wounded student, how to recognize different types of trauma, how wounds can be manifested through a variety of antisocial behaviors, how to reach a wounded student and leverage teachable moments to teach and/or reinforce acceptable behaviors, and how alternative discipline can achieve key outcomes for both student and teacher that lay the groundwork for effective teaching of marginalized students.

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.

As always, archived programs may be viewed at your convenience at www.dropoutprevention.org/webcast/.

From Our Research Fellows

A book recommendation coming from NDPC/N Fellows is Latino Dropouts in Rural America: Realities and Possibilities, by Carolyn Hondo, Mary E. Gardiner, and Yolanda Sapien (SUNY Press March 2008). The book shares stories of Latino high school dropouts from rural communities in Idaho and presents a recommended leadership plan to help educators understand the lives of rural Idaho youth and to critique their own schools.

Sale of the Month

Closing the Gaps: A Comprehensive Dropout Prevention Plan in a Rural School District

I. A. Richardson and S. E. Turbeville

This monograph tells the story of a rural county that came together to address collectively the dropout problems facing their school district. With careful analysis of the educational needs of the community, this community collaboration resulted in implementation of a comprehensive dropout prevention plan. Their story provides others with a powerful model for success.

For the month of September, this book is being offered at half price ($5.00 for non-Network members and Network members). To order this book, visit www.dropoutprevention.org/publications/page/2/. For more information on becoming a member of our National Dropout Prevention Network, visit www.dropoutprevention.org/membership.

Top Stories

The newest in a series of National Center for Educational Statistics reports on Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States is now available and covers the years 1972-2012.

A new report from The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, Out of Control: The Systematic Disenfranchisement of African American and Latino Communities Through School Takeovers, highlights negative fallout that can occur when states take over schools and school districts. “School takeovers and privatization alone have not consistently improved student outcomes. But they have been linked with high drop-out and school push-out rates, increased segregation, political disempowerment and increased financial stress and insolvency in public school districts.” (p. 1)

Effective Strategies

Safe Learning Environments

While anti-bullying curriculum may have created a generation more aware of and intolerant of blatant and stereotypical bullying, a U.S. News and World Report health blog states that young people are being bullied in more subtle, but perhaps even more dangerous, ways. The article highlights a troubling practice of peers bullying peers to skip lunch at school. Read the story here.

See this Today Show story about one teacher’s brilliant way to identify students who might be left out and feeling “unseen.”


New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced steps to improve academic outcomes and keep more young people in school and on track to graduation, including online tutoring services and a grant process to provide dropout prevention coaches and social workers for middle and high schools across her state. Read the story in the Ruidoso News.

Professional Development

See how strategy walks, tapping into colleagues’ best practices, PLCs (Professional Learning Communities), supporting teachers, and high expectations made huge differences at Lehigh Senior High School in Florida. Watch the video.

Career and Technical Education

Michele Molnar, of Education Week Marketplace K-12, brings our attention to a recent study by two economists showing that if all students achieved a minimum level of basic skills, their increased earnings as adults would add $28 trillion to the U.S. economy over those students’ lifetimes, and repay the entire investment in K-12 education. And that may be a considerable underestimate of the value of educational reforms. Read the report, Universal Basic Skills: What Countries Stand to Gain, which was released in May by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and authored by Eric Hanushek (Stanford University) and Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich).

Alan Neuhauser, energy, environment, and STEM reporter for U.S. News & World Report, reported on a recent STEM Solutions Conference in San Diego, citing experts who say that giving students the opportunity for workforce exploration—and blurring the boundaries between academic education and technical training—can not only help shepherd more workers to technical fields, but also make sure they have the science, technology, engineering, and math skills companies say are sorely needed. Read the blog here.

Students With Disabilities

This year’s annual Building a Grad Nation report, produced by Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, states that while it is estimated that 85%-90% percent of students with disabilities could meet regular diploma requirements with the right supports, the graduation rate for this group of students was just 61.9% in 2012-13. This compares with data showing that the on-time graduation rate of the U.S. could very well reach 90% by 2020. Nationally, students with disabilities make up approximately 13% of all public school students, so concentrating on that group of students could have major impact across the nation.


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