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How Did North Carolina High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates? Dr. Janna Robertson Dr. Robert Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "How Did North Carolina High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates? Dr. Janna Robertson Dr. Robert Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Did North Carolina High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates? Dr. Janna Robertson Dr. Robert Smith

2 Question How did schools that markedly improved their graduation rates accomplish their success?

3 Methods Participants 1.We examined their 2006 graduation rate 2.Compared it to their 2010 graduation rate 3.Schools with less than 100 students were excluded 4.The top 50 which showed the most improvement were sent a link to an online survey

4 Participants: 23 Schools Name 4yr % yr % 2010 Difference Northeastern High Northampton High West Stem Southside High Southern Vance High Ben L Smith High Mooresville Senior High Jacksonville High Northern Vance High Shelby High Polk County High Franklin High Bunn High Westover High South Brunswick High Statesville High Northern Nash High

5 Results: Policies

6 Policies

7 Policy Descriptions Attendance & tardy changed/enforced/monitored 21 credits Credit recovery (online) In school suspension No failure/all work made up/late work Individual meetings/family meetings/contracts

8 Student Characteristics

9 Interventions Used

10 Main Interventions

11 Other Interventions Response to intervention Small learning communities Peer and adult tutors, after school and AVID Student led professional learning communities Revised schedule, reteach retest Life skills training Freshman academy Online instruction/credit recovery College preparatory program Grant funded partnership with the YMCA

12 Support

13 District Support Descriptions 21 credit/computer programs Professional development Buses for after-school tutoring Graduation coaches Computers, social worker, alternative high schools Special programs Celebrations

14 Evidenced Based Interventions

15 Curriculum Relevance

16 Interesting Teachers

17 Overall Improved monitoring of students with follow-up and individual interventions Culture change of school with high expectations and monitoring of high quality teaching Changing policies to give student more of a chance and opportunities Hiring, retaining and professional development of teachers and administrators to “go the extra mile” Support staff: Graduation coaches, social workers Family involvement, increased and sooner Special programs: Academic and life skills Strong leadership and make graduation a high priority

18 Interviews Four Interviews completed Preliminary results supports surveys but gives more details Demonstrates how Dropout Prevention success is tailored to the particular school

19 Conclusions There is no one way to improve graduation rates Interventions were pervasive and several required funding and additional resources Strong evidence that graduation rates can be improved

20 Some thoughts... High stakes accountability puts lot of pressure on schools to increase the numbers –is there a possible tension between increasing graduation rates and loosening standards? Increasing graduation rates for some schools was part of larger policy to change the whole school culture of learning while at others it was more of a stand alone focus 70% of respondents indicated that School districts did not lead the change. Given that dropping out and the solutions occur district wide, why are there not more systemic/district wide approaches?


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