New KDE publication highlights Persistence to Graduation success stories

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Joseph Dechant, left, and Dylan Burch work on assignments as coordinator Leslie Miller moves past them at Jackson Academy (Warren County), which was one of the districts featured in the report.
The Kentucky Department of Education released a publication that highlights successful schools and programs throughout Kentucky that promote high school graduation as part of the agency’s Persistence to Graduation initiative. Joseph Dechant, left, and Dylan Burch work on assignments as coordinator Leslie Miller moves past them at Jackson Academy (Warren County), which was one of the districts featured in the report.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, Aug. 27, 2018
  • The full report details Kentucky’s legislative reform efforts to lower dropout rates and KDE’s Persistence to Graduation initiative.
  • Four individual practice briefs focus on alternative education, community partnerships, culture and climate and student transitions and re-engagement.

By Mike Marsee
mike.marsee@education.ky.gov

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has released a publication that highlights successful schools and programs throughout Kentucky that promote high school graduation as part of the agency’s Persistence to Graduation initiative.

“Persistence to Graduation” is the result of a collaboration between KDE and the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF). It is part of the Persistence to Graduation initiative, through which KDE provides a variety of supports to schools and districts to identify students who may be off track for college and career readiness, promotion or on-time graduation and provides interventions to support students until they earn a diploma.

The publication, co-written by Samaura Stone, a senior policy associate at AYPF, and Nancy Martin, an education and workforce development consultant, consists of a full report and four individual practice briefs in the areas of alternative education, community partnerships, culture and climate and student transitions and re-engagement.

The publication:

  • Explains Kentucky’s legislative reform efforts to lower dropout rates, leading up to the Persistence to Graduation initiative;
  • Includes multiple case examples representing promising and successful practices in rural, suburban and urban programs, schools and districts, as well as with various student populations in traditional and alternative settings;
  • Identifies specific key strategies that are being used by each program, school or district highlighted; and
  • Provides a checklist with questions for district leaders and educators to consider.

“We’re trying to reach as large an audience as possible with some wonderful examples of what Kentucky’s schools and districts are doing to keep our at-risk students on track to graduation,” said Kelly Foster, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Continuous Improvement and Support.

The release of “Persistence to Graduation” was announced July 10 at KDE’s Persistence to Graduation Summit, where more than 400 educators learned about dropout prevention and re-engagement strategies from local educators, KDE staff members and others. Many of the programs highlighted within the report have been featured at the summit.

“Many of the educators involved in this work are unable to attend the summit, and this publication makes these strategies and practices available as a kind of reference they can use at any time,” Foster said.

The full report includes an overview of the Kentucky General Assembly’s reform efforts to lower dropout rates and of the Persistence to Graduation initiative, which was created in 2015 to implement Kentucky’s focus on high school graduation. It also provides a framework for the four practice briefs, which include case examples that detail key strategies and practices.

Within the four practice briefs:

  • Schools in Fayette, Jefferson and McCracken counties are featured for their work in alternative education.
  • Schools in Adair and Estill counties are featured for their work in community partnerships.
  • Schools in Boyd, Carter and Jefferson counties are featured for their work in culture and climate.
  • Schools in Laurel and Warren counties and the Covington Independent district are featured for their work in student transitions and re-engagement.

The publication is expected to be the first in a series of practice briefs KDE plans to produce. Future topics could include innovation and personalized learning and chronic absenteeism.

MORE INFO FROM THE PtG SUMMIT …

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