PSJA Dropout Recovery Success Featured by US Department of Education
PHARR– PSJA ISD’s College, Career & Technology Academy has been profiled by the U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, in this month’s issue of the Principal Leadership magazine.
This national publication by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), focuses on school leaders’ real needs, offering them practical, hands-on strategies for improving their schools in a constantly evolving educational environment.
Melendez de Santa Ana’s piece titled, “Bold Ideas For Secondary School Reform,” highlights PSJA’s dropout recovery program, which opened in September 2007 and to date has helped 713 former dropouts between the ages of 18-26 complete all requirements to receive their high school diploma, while at the same time, attending South Texas College and receiving college credit toward a higher education degree.
“The most-effective school reforms come from local school leaders who know the needs of their students and can adjust practices and resources accordingly,” Melendez de Santa Ana wrote. “And as a result, they are proving that all students can learn at high levels…and are examples of promising practices in secondary education reform that are happening right now.”
Excerpt from the article:
When Danny King became superintendent of the Pharr–San Juan–Alamo (TX) Independent School District in 2007, he identified the district’s drop-out crisis as one of his top priorities. His goal was to decrease the high drop-out rate, increase the graduation rate, and raise overall achievement in the high schools.
Under the leadership of Principal Leonore Tyler, the College, Career, and Technology Academy—or CC&T Academy—opened in September 2007 with two classrooms and eight staff members. The academy is part of the district’s comprehensive approach to addressing the drop-out problem. Created to meet the needs of older students from the ages of 18 to 26, the CC&T Academy is an alternative campus that reengages students who have not graduated from high school, either because they didn’t complete their course work or because they did not pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
The CC&T Academy recruited its first group of students from a list of those who failed to graduate from high school in the 2006–07 school year. The staff members conducted all types of outreach, including parent information sessions, radio advertisements, and outdoor banners posted at busy intersections. Within four months, the CC&T Academy graduated its first group of students—49 in all. By August 2008, the number of graduates had grown to 110 students, including students from other district high schools who enrolled in the academy’s summer sessions.
To read the entire article go to: