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Technical Assistance for the Development of the Dropout Prevention Plan
To develop a Plan to Plan, consider the following questions:
• Who will be meeting to develop the plan?
Title 20-A Maine Education and School Statutes section 5103 refers to the formation of Dropout Prevention Committee established annually by the Superintendent for each individual school unit under the Superintendent's supervision. Committee membership is to be composed of: School administrator, teacher, school counselor, school board member, parent, school attendance coordinator, high school student, a dropout, and a community resident.
A district wide Dropout Prevention Planning Committee could be made up of representatives from individual school prevention committees.
The Planning Committee should represent the K- Adult Education spectrum including special and alternative education programs.
• When will this work be done?
Chapter 125 states that adoption of the Comprehensive Education Plan by the school board should occur at the end of the 2002-2003 school year. Beginning in the 2003-04 school year the Superintendent is to report annually on the Plan to the citizenry and the Commissioner. Work on the Dropout Prevention Plan if not already undertaken needs to begin immediately and will be an ongoing work, as adjustments are needed to meet the needs of the school district.
• What are the critical elements of the plan?
Chapter 125 specifies that: “A plan for identifying students at-risk of school failure in kindergarten through grade 12 including, but not limited to, truants and dropouts, and the development of appropriated alternative programs to meet their needs.”
Title 20-A section 5103 identifies six components when developing a Dropout Prevention Committee plan.
Components for the Comprehensive Education Dropout Prevention Plan might then include:
• Collection of data regarding the dropout problem in the community (school records, information submitted to the Department of Education, Counselor office data, and anecdotal data from students and dropouts.)
• Develop informed statement on the dropout problem in the community
• Identify cluster of dropout reasons, formulate strategy to address primary issues.
• Identify gaps in services
• Assemble school and community resources and referrals.
• Review policies impacting students such as on discipline, SAT referrals, alternative education intake.
• Develop Professional Development regarding at-risk youth.
• Investigate, identify and implement strategies for dropout prevention
• Personal Learning Plans, mentors, tutors, learning style inventories, school climate, school structure/flexibility of the school day, harassment issues, advisor/advisee groups, small teacher-student ratios, differentiated instruction, counseling, alternatives in education, adult education, alternative programming, activities/clubs/sports programs.
• Write annual report to school board
Administration and staff constitute district resources. The Department of Education provides technical assistance through Shelley Reed , Consultant for Truancy, Dropout, and Alternative Education at jacinda.goodwin@Maine.gov , and by phone at 624-6637.
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