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LRSD, State, City and Community Leaders Unite to Reengage Students
District launches new effort to help students find multiple pathways to success!
Supported by initiatives aimed at ensuring support for every student, regardless of circumstance, Little Rock School District (LRSD) graduation rates have increased in recent years. But school leaders say they’re not content to rest on those successes — and that’s why the District is launching a new program to reengage students who have stopped attending school before earning a diploma.
The program, in partnership with Graduation Alliance, will employ a team of re-enrollment specialists with experience locating students who stopped attending high school, and provide those students with options for returning to the educational process. From there, students are connected to a support team of teachers, academic coaches, 24/7 tutors and social service advocates as they re-engage in classes through an online program specifically developed for those who have previously struggled to complete classes.
“It’s that 360 degrees of support that really matters,” LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore said. “In all my years in education, I’ve never met a student who couldn’t graduate or didn’t want to succeed. But every student has different obstacles, and some have more than others. The team we’re building will identify those challenges and set a path for overcoming them.”
Graduation Alliance is a national leader in helping school districts reengage students who cannot or will not return to a traditional school. The District and the Alliance began exploring options for supporting students last spring and are kicking off the program in LRSD at the start of the 2020-21 school year.
“The passion and dedication that Little Rock’s teachers and administrators have for their students is inspirational,” said Greg Harp, Graduation Alliance’s chief development officer. “We’re excited to stand with them in this effort, and thrilled to be able to help provide opportunities that will put more students on the path to graduation.”
Program representatives will begin contacting students beginning this month. However, in a united front, Assistant Little Rock Police Haywood Finks, State Representative Denise Ennett, Encore Bank Senior Vice President Miguel Lopez, Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Chair Charisse Dean, ADE board member Dr. Ftiz Hill, LRSD Director of Counseling Lequieta Grayson and LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore are all supporting the effort, manning a phone bank to begin the initial round of contact with students.
“It has become cliché to say ‘we’re not going to leave any students behind,’ but let me be clear: That is the only acceptable goal,” Poore said. “Until every resource has been exhausted, and until every student has a pathway to graduation, more education, and a great job, our work is not done.”
Students and parents or guardians who are interested in the program may call 888.615.6115 for more information.
Since 2007, Graduation Alliance has provided versatile pathways to high school graduation for youth and adults, fosters college and career exploration, and connects job creators to skilled and ready workers. For more information, visit www.graduationalliance.com/