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ERIC Number: ED535185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Call to Action: Getting Denver Public Schools Students Back on Track to Graduation. An Analysis of DPS' Off-Track Youth, in and out of School, and a Roadmap for Improving Educational Options
Dolan, Kim Knous; Perez-Oquendo, Reyna
Donnell-Kay Foundation (NJ1)
More than half of all Denver Public Schools (DPS) students who start in the ninth grade do not graduate within four years. If DPS is to significantly impact this graduation crisis, it must prioritize the implementation of systemic and research-based strategies around prevention, recuperation, and recovery of off-track students. With a 100 percent graduation goal in mind, policies need to be established with appropriate incentives for districts, schools, parents and students to keep youth in school through graduation. To dramatically increase the number of graduates, it is imperative to design strategies focused on: (1) Prevention of dropouts by implementing an early warning data system and comprehensive interventions starting as early as sixth grade; (2) Recuperation to get off-track students back on track to graduation, including supports such as credit recovery, summer school, and effective alternative programs; and (3) Recovery to re-engage out-of-school youth including conducting aggressive outreach; assessing and improving options for re-enrollment (including one-stop enrollment centers); and creating a streamlined and supportive process to develop new, high quality alternative schools. Each of these strategies is critical and all must work simultaneously to impact this complex problem. This report, however, largely concentrates on the need for a more strategic approach to "recuperation" and "recovery." It goes a step beyond and focuses on the district taking a comprehensive, research-based approach to respond to the variety of needs of all off-track youth, including overaged and undercredited students. These are students for whom many prevention and modest credit recovery options will not be sufficient--students who have fallen off track enough to need an entirely different schooling option. This report provides an overview of the current alternative education landscape in DPS, including a review of the demand for non-traditional schooling options and the supply of alternative programs. Based on this information, this report presents recommendations to the district on ways to more effectively meet the needs of Denver's off-track youth, in school and out of school. Appended are: (1) Glossary of Terms; (2) Analysis of Denver Public Schools Dropouts, 2006-2007 Data By Colorado Youth for a Change; (3) Analysis of Denver Public Schools Students in School (Excludes Dropouts), 2006-2007 Data By Denver Public Schools Staff; (4) Sample Portfolio of Options for Specific Populations; (5) Denver Public Schools Alternative School Options, 2008-2009 School Year; (6) National Alternative Education Models with Potential to Replicate in Denver; and (7) High School Dropouts Registered in Denver Public Schools Residing in the City and County of Denver 2006-2007. (Contains 2 boxes, 4 charts and 40 footnotes.) [This report was written with significant contributions by Christine Sturgis.]
Donnell-Kay Foundation. 730 17th Street Suite 950, Denver, CO 80202. Tel: 720-932-1544; Fax: 303-534-5785; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Donnell-Kay Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Colorado