Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: 'Alliance' offers tips to combat truancy
- 2013 - 802 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- December 2009 - 163 articles
- November 2009 - 166 articles
- October 2009 - 231 articles
- September 2009 - 161 articles
- August 2009 - 136 articles
- July 2009 - 153 articles
- June 2009 - 126 articles
- May 2009 - 164 articles
- April 2009 - 242 articles
- March 2009 - 204 articles
- February 2009 - 163 articles
- January 2009 - 157 articles
- January 29th, 2009 (Thursday) - 16 articles
- January 28th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 22 articles
- January 27th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- January 26th, 2009 (Monday) - 1 articles
- January 23rd, 2009 (Friday) - 12 articles
- January 22nd, 2009 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- January 21st, 2009 (Wednesday) - 12 articles
- January 20th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- January 15th, 2009 (Thursday) - 20 articles
- January 14th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 6 articles
- January 13th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- January 9th, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- January 8th, 2009 (Thursday) - 16 articles
- January 7th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- January 6th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 4 articles
- January 5th, 2009 (Monday) - 1 articles
- January 2nd, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- January 1st, 2009 (Thursday) - 8 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|'Alliance' offers tips to combat truancy|
Representatives from school districts across northeast Louisiana gathered late last week to discuss ways to better address the state's dropout rate.
The purpose of the Region VII dropout prevention summit was to discuss strategies tailored to meet local needs to help students graduate from high school.
Shreveport's Scott Hughes, executive director of the Alliance for Education, spoke on how Shreveport education officials have worked to decrease the dropout rate in Caddo Parish and Bossier Parish schools.
In recent years, out of 45,000 students in the Caddo Parish school system, more than 12,000 had accumulated five or more absences during their first semester of high school.
"Generally five absences is a pretty good indicator of a child in trouble," Hughes said. "Some will succeed, but if a child gets five absences, especially within 30 days, you can red-flag that child as a problem child you need to go work with."
He said during the first year that the Caddo school system made some internal changes, the system reduced the number of students with five or more absences to 9,000.
The school system also received a grant of $200,000 from the Shreveport-Bossier Community Foundation to hire more truancy officers to immediately respond to students who had three or more absences.
"We haven't gotten the numbers for this semester since it just ended, but we think we can take that number down to 4,000," Hughes said. "That's a reduction of over half within two years of kids who accumulated five absences. That should show tremendous results in test scores, and in theory, long-term dropout."
He said the Caddo school system should receive more state funding if the new truancy program works. That would be the case since the amount of money the state allocates to local school districts is determined by the number students enrolled in each district.
"If we can increase the daily headcount in the Caddo school system by just 100 kids, they get $750,000 more from the state, and we just spent $200,000 to do that," Hughes said. "If we can prove results over the next year, which we've funded through this grant, then the school system will obviously pick it up because it's an investment."
The Alliance for Education also convinced the Caddo Parish District Attorney's office to send letters to parents whose children were missing school. Before, those letters would come from the school system. Many parents would simply throw them away, Hughes said.
"They got together with the DA, who said, 'I'll send a letter,'" Hughes said. "That's powerful … when a letter comes from the district attorney and it says your child is truant, that letter gets opened."
Having the district attorney issue truancy notices increased response among parents by 70 percent, he said.
"Enforcement means having to drag a few parents into court and sue them for neglect," Hughes continued. "You only have to do one or two, and make sure it's highly profiled, and then they realize we're not playing around. All of a sudden you get that 70 percent improvement rate. But when there's no punishment, no one pays attention."
"Most district attorneys realize that by doing this, they can help eliminate 50 percent of juvenile crime."
Hughes said the summit was held locally to increase awareness about the state's dropout problem. The group also wanted to hear from regional educational leaders about how they think their area should address the issue.
"We're just trying to plant a seed," Hughes explained. "If we can raise the awareness, we can plant that seed and give them some ideas of what they can go do. There were some great ideas that came out of here, and now we're going to try and get them to put those ideas into something that will work for each (school) district."
He said each region in the state is different, and it will take a cooperative effort with each school system and community to reverse the current trend of students dropping out in high school.
Annually, Louisiana has about 18,000 students drop out of high school.