Dropouts finish education: Kent School District’s iGrad Program

13 Jan

Moi wrote in Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout: Caralee Adams writes in the Education Week article, Why High School Students Drop Out and Efforts to Re-Engage:

Parenthood—either being a parent or missing out on parental support—is the leading reason cited by dropouts for leaving school, according to a new survey.
The 2012 High School Dropouts in America survey was released today by Harris/Decima, a division of Harris Interactive, on behalf of Everest College, a part of the for-profit Corinthian College Inc.
The poll was commissioned to help policymakers and educators understand why students drop out of high school and find effective ways to re-engage them in the hope of improving graduation rates.
The survey asked 513 adults, ages 19 to 35: “Which, if any, of the following reasons prevented you from finishing high school?” Here are the responses:
1. Absence of parental support or encouragement (23 percent)
2. Becoming a parent (21 percent)
3. Lacking the credits needed to graduate (17 percent)
4. Missing too many days of school (17 percent)
5. Failing classes (15 percent)
6. Uninteresting classes (15 percent)
7. Experiencing a mental illness, such as depression (15 percent)
8. Having to work to support by family (12 percent)
9. Was bullied and didn’t want to return (12 percent)
In the survey, conducted online in October, 55 percent of the dropouts looked into, but had not started the process of getting their high school equivalency or GED. The likelihood of doing so is higher for those who are married (67 percent). The reasons for not getting a GED: “not having enough time” (34 percent) and “it costs too much” (26 percent).
One-third of high school dropouts say they are employed either full time, part time, or are self‐employed. Another 38 percent of the men and 26 percent of the women were unemployed.
Attracting young adults who have dropped out back for more education is a challenge.
Often students don’t want to return to the same school they left and are looking for flexible options. One approach that is showing promise is the Boston Public Re-Engagement Center. There, students can retake up to two courses they previously failed; try online credit recovery, or attend night school or summer school. Coming into the program, out-of-school youths are connected with an adult to discuss goals, finances, and enrollment options. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2012/11/examining_reasons_for_dropping_out_of_high_school_and_ways_to_re-engage_students.html

See, High School Dropouts Worsened By Lack Of Support, Becoming A Parent: Survey http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/lack-of-support-becoming-_n_2137961.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/19/studies-lack-of-support-and-early-parenthood-cause-kids-to-dropout/

Michelle Conerly of the Kent Reporter wrote about a Kent School District program which helps dropouts finish their education in the article, More students making the grade at iGrad:

For students completing the Kent School District diploma track through the new iGrad program, this is what their classroom looks like.
The iGrad academy is a district program funded by the state in partnership with the Kent School District and Green River Community College (GRCC) that offers students 16-21 years old the ability to earn credits toward one of three program tracks. Students also may choose to earn a Washington state diploma or a GED certificate.
This individualized learning model is structured to cater to the students’ unique needs.
“At the iGrad site each student is taking the subjects they need to graduate – whatever they are credit deficient in,” said Catherine Cantrell, interim dean of instruction – language, academic skills, and wellness at GRCC.
At of the beginning of January, around 460 students were enrolled in the iGrad program, but according to Principal Carol Cleveland, 12 to 14 students are added daily, making the actual number of students much higher.
Before enrolling, every student meets with Cleveland for a one-on-one session to address the student’s educational needs and goals. Then, the choice is his or hers as to which track would satisfy those needs.
For the students who choose the GED track, professors come to the iGrad site at 25668 104th Ave. SE, Kent, and students are expected to attend class four days a week in order to prepare for the GED test. For the students who choose to earn a Kent School District diploma, they must attend class for three hours once a week at the iGrad site. The other 12 required hours per week are to be completed remotely via a computer.
For students choosing the Washington state diploma track, they are able to attend GRCC classes on campus. Students are also able to earn college credit while still earning high school credits.
“We consider iGrad students Green River Community College students,” Cantrell said. “We encourage them to be a part of the college. The whole benefit of iGrad is that students can transition to college.”
To the couple thousand students in the Kent School District that were eligible to participate, a team of administrators sent out postcards informing them of their eligibility. For every postcard that was sent back expressing interest, the administrators called every student to meet with Cleveland and to begin the process of enrollment.
Many of the students who choose to participate in the iGrad program have dropped out of school or never re-enrolled in school for many reasons. Part of Cleveland’s job is to address those issues and make learning as accessible as possible for the students in this program.
“I try to remove all the barriers I can,” Cleveland said. “My day is filled with figuring out what they need.”
From bus passes and reduced childcare services to paying for their first two years of at GRCC, Cleveland has set up funds that allow her to be a “barrier remover” for the students in the iGrad program that qualify for these options.
Students do not have to live within the boundaries of the Kent School District to enroll in the iGrad program, yet if they choose to participate, they must abide by the school district rules. The interest in the program has grown so much that Cleveland has received calls from other districts and even other states as to how this model of education is working out for the students.
Not all the kinks are worked out yet, though. With only five teachers and two counselors, the minimal staffing makes it difficult at times for Cleveland. She is looking to hire an assistant principal to help organize and supervise the program.
For the students who choose to earn a Kent School District diploma, there is little to no social aspect of the program. For some students, the lack of socializing is welcomed, but for others, they miss the traditional classroom setting.
http://www.kentreporter.com/news/187224061.html

Here is information from the Kent School District about iGrad:

Learn more about the iGrad program

Progress reports are available for parents and guardians
Parents and guardians can receive weekly progress reports sent directly to their email. The reports are generated by the software systems that students use in their classes: Edgenuity (formerly known as e2020) and APEX.
To start receiving progress reports, email Assistant Principal, Mary Anderson at: mary.anderson@kent.k12.wa.us . Please include your student’s full name, email address(es) that reports will be sent to, and how often you’d like to receive reports: daily, weekly, or monthly.
We hope you’ll find this to be a useful tool in supporting your student and encouraging progress.
http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/iG

For a good discussion of why child care is important to students, see the journal article, Contemporary Childcare Issues Facing Colleges and Universities by Marybeth Kyle, William J. Campion, William R. Ogden; College Student Journal, Vol. 33, 1999.

In order for low-income people, particularly single mothers to have a shot at escaping poverty, they must get an education, trade, or vocation. For many, affordable child care is the key determinant of whether they can advance. Alexandra Cawthorne in the 2008 report for the Center for American Progress, The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2008/10/08/5103/the-straight-facts-on-women-in-poverty/ describes the issues facing women in poverty. The National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers has statistics about Children on Campus http://www.campuschildren.org/pubs/cclab/cclab1.html Moi wrote about childcare in A baby changes everything: Helping parents finish school https://drwilda.com/tag/childcare-on-colleges/

Education must not only be affordable for many student populations, it must be accessible as well.

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