Hudson School District Drop Out Task Force 2010 Co-Chairs: Laura Bisson – Hudson School Board Irene Sousa –Director of Special Services Project Management: Mary Ellen Ormond – Associate Superintendent
We need to address the challenge we face in Hudson • Our Early Exit rate was 12.3% as of 2007/2008. (data produced by the NH DOE) The actual dropout rate is 10.9%. • 49 high school students exited school without receiving a high school diploma and 43 of them dropped out all together in 2007/2008. • 49 kids left Alvirne High too early that year. • We need to alert the school community and the community of Hudson that this is not just a problem, this is a crisis bordering catastrophe as General Colin Powell states.
What was the initial goal of the task force? • Identify those families who are most likely to have a student leave high school early • Interview teachers who see a child struggling and leaning towards giving up. What can we as a community do to help them, the teacher? • Interview those students who have dropped out • Rely on school psychologists and guidance department to target those elementary and middle school students who are most likely to leave school early. Review the “ABC” symptoms; attendance, behavior, and course-performance. • Create an intervention program at both the middle school and the high school geared for drop outs. This program could also take place in our community.
Facts about our meetings: • Each sub-group consisted of at least one team member from all three • school levels. • We met at the new Rogers Memorial Library, SAU, and the high school. • Project Management played a large role in our success. • Each sub-group had a leader of the group. • All project management pieces were created from research based programs. • The group met as a whole twice monthly through May • At the end of May, we asked who would be willing to work through the summer • to continue our work. At that point we had 11 people commit to • working over the summer.
February 2010The Task force identified 5 key areas that we would concentrate on: Causes and issues of students dropping out of school Effects of the Drop Out crisis in our community Challenges of addressing the Drop Out Problem and Population Stakeholders effected Solutions
Spring 2010The Task force began with: Causes and issues of students dropping out of school Effects of the Drop Out crisis in our community Challenges of addressing the Drop Out Problem and Population Stakeholders effected Solutions
The Committee chose “Causes & Issues of the Dropout” From here we broke into 5 sub categories and identified those areas we would concentrate on first that were: Zero cost items Would garner “buy in” from our staff Would be easily implemented in the quickest time frame possible. This led to • Attendance • Transition • Student Engagement – Goal Setting • Student Engagement – School Connections • Parental Involvement & Support
Focus Areas for Summer 2010 • Attendance: The first phase of this project will be to develop a district wide attendance policy that will include procedures and expectations. The committee will also address how this policy will be shared and implemented. • Transition: Identify and communicate, through district wide documents, key indicators(attendance, behavior and course performance ) that students need to successfully transition from grade level to grade level in the Hudson School District by Spring 2011. Develop a document that clearly outlines what the district will do at each transition point in assisting the student to successfully move from one transition point to another.
2010 Attendance Numbers These numbers were generated at the 158th day of school with the exception of Memorial School which was generated at the 165th day.
Attendance What will the protocol be for decreasing the amount of days our students are absent, tardy or truant? • To our benefit, a new law was passed on July 1, 2010 which states that any student who misses 10 HALF days of school can be brought to court on a CHINS petition. • The committee, administration and the policy committee wrote a new comprehensive attendance and tardiness policy. • The committee has formed a flow chart which will be used in each building. This flow chart identifies intervention at four levels; 5 days absent, 8 days absent, 12 days absent and 15 days absent. • An Attendance Intervention Form will be given to each building to be used consistently through a child’s educational career. • Form will remain in the student’s cumulative folder.
Support Documents for Attendance Policy Attendance Protocol Attendance Intervention Form
Identifying those students we need to provide “extra” support to so that they can have a successful school career in Hudson. The task force through a review of our student population as well as research of evidence based programs set the criteria of identifying a student as being “at risk”. These criteria are called the “ABC” symptoms. At each grade level, the teacher, guidance department and the administrative staff will monitor those students which exhibit a problem in any of these three areas.
Transition What will the protocol be for transitioning an “at risk” student from grade to grade and building to building? • A teacher recognizes a student is showing symptoms of the “ABC model.” • They alert the Department Head and Assistant Principal. • At the years end, they fill out a Student Success Transition Form. • A conversation will be had between Administration of both buildings (if transferring buildings) and Guidance. • Forms will be accessible on the common shared folder.
Support Documents for Transition Process Script for Principals SSTF Process SST Form
What has our task force realized? Drop outs can be identified at our elementary level. Research shows that as early as third grade, dropouts are beginning their path to leaving school early. We will identify the “at risk” population and follow them from grade to grade. We need to re-address policies and behaviors that are being resolved with suspensions and detentions as well as class failure. Due to this our group has had many discussions around creating a safe place in our buildings for suspensions where the student will continue to be educated. If we can not get them to school, why would we keep them out of our buildings more? Our at-risk students need to be treated with ‘kid gloves” and we need to find more ways to make them feel engaged in their school community, and to be present at school every day. By law, we need to identify a staff member as a Truant officer for our district.
Where do we go from here? Assess the success of both the process and product of the Attendance and Transition Procedures. Recruit additional staff/community members so that we ensure full representation. Establish the criteria of the measurement of success. Re-evaluate and modify as necessary. Initiate the process of product development for Student and Parent Engagement. Gather initial data from parent and students in our district.
Thank you to our dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to roll out our first initiatives: High School: Bryan Lane Bill Hughen Scott Riddell Suzanne Callis Dawn Breault Sue Hanley Jeff Peterson SRO Rachelle Megowen Middle School: Lori Robicheau Vinnie Pagan Karen O’Brien Kerri Keane SRO Bill Emmons Elementary: Karen Ferrante Sherri Lavoie Michelle Mahoney Meg Williams Melanie Curren Mary-Ellen Labrie Summer Committee: Michelle Mahoney Lori Robicheau Scott Riddell SRO Rachelle Megowen Melanie Curren Bryan Lane Dawn Breault SRO Bill Emmons Mary-Ellen Labrie Bill Hughen Sue Hanley Jeff Peterson