Page created by Mark Gutierrez

      (March 2021)

   Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 3
   Credit Recovery ......................................................................................................................................... 3
       What the Research Says........................................................................................................................ 3
       State Requirements and Guidance ....................................................................................................... 4
       Paying for Credit Recovery .................................................................................................................... 5
   High School Equivalency Credential (HiSET) ............................................................................................. 6
       What the Research Says........................................................................................................................ 6
       State Requirements and Guidance ....................................................................................................... 6
       Local HISET Providers ............................................................................................................................ 8
   Alternative and Accelerated Schools ........................................................................................................ 9
       What the Research Says........................................................................................................................ 9
       State Requirements and Guidance ....................................................................................................... 9
       Local Alternative or Accelerated Schools............................................................................................ 10
Research Based Strategies to Prevent Disengagement .............................................................................. 11
   Monitoring Student Engagement ........................................................................................................... 11
   Developing Trusting Relationships.......................................................................................................... 12
   Addressing Potential Barriers to Student Engagement .......................................................................... 12
   Taking Advantage of External Resources in New Orleans ...................................................................... 13
Additional Resources .................................................................................................................................. 19
Appendix ..................................................................................................................................................... 20
   Example Pupil Progression Plan Language for Credit Recovery ............................................................. 20

This guide examines student recovery and dropout prevention efforts in Orleans Parish. The goal of this
document, which will be updated every year, is to compile the most up-to-date and relevant information
related to student recovery and dropout prevention into a single location so that families, providers, and
schools have the information to make informed decisions about and connections to the various
opportunities in our city.

Researchers have concluded that there is likely no single factor commonly associated with the process
of dropping out of school. Rather, studies have shown that the process is gradual or cumulative.
Students typically cite a lack of support at school, lack of trust, lack of access (safety, transportation,
cost, childcare, language, scheduling), competing priorities, and negative stigmas as some of the root
causes of their disengagement or decision to exit the school system. Addressing these barriers and
understanding each young person’s interests and strengths is essential to dropout prevention and
effective reengagement. Yet, the complexity of the challenges students face and the diversity of
supports necessary to accommodate them, makes it exceedingly difficult to develop a single or one-size
fits-all approach to help overcome barriers.

First we explore three interventions that are available for students who are at risk of dropping out or
have disengaged from the education system. For each intervention, a brief examination of the research
and efficacy, as well as state requirements and guidance and other useful information is provided.

Credit Recovery
Credit recovery programs, which offer struggling students in middle and high school the opportunity to
earn course credits in areas where they previously failed, are a popular dropout prevention strategy
designed to keep academically struggling students on track to graduate high school. Program structure
varies across districts and schools, with some offering credit recovery classes over the summer, on
school breaks, after school, on weekends, at home, at night in school computer labs, or even during the
school day. Students typically receive credit recovery instruction virtually, but it can also be offered in a
variety of different modes, including blended or in-person. Most credit recovery programs are self-
paced and instruction targets the specific areas where students are deficient rather than having them
take the full course again.

What the Research Says
Despite their large presence across the nation’s public schools, only a limited amount of research has
examined the efficacy of credit recovery programs. Research has found that on average, students who
participate in online credit recovery programs are more likely to graduate than students who failed or
missed a necessary course but did not take advantage of credit recovery. Additionally, online credit
recovery affects whether students enroll in college and on average leads to more students enrolling in
postsecondary opportunities.

Anecdotal and some empirical evidence suggests that recovery programs push students through the
education system without ensuring content mastery. Yet, several case studies reveal that credit recovery
programs can generate positive outcomes for students if they incorporate several features. Successful
credit recovery programs tend to:
 Ensure that courses are fully aligned to curricula and include clear expectation and resources to
    support students
 Use in-person supervision of programs to keep students focus and stay on-task

   Utilize individualized instruction to help students learn concepts and content that they did not
    originally master
   Enable self-pacing so that students can spend less time on areas where they are already proficient
    and take more time where they need it
   Enable teachers or programs to re-teach students until they gain proficiency
   Pass students when they have demonstrated proficiency in all content
   Create a system of assessments (pre-test, post-test, concept checking, etc.) to determine areas of
    strength and weakness and to gauge progress

State Requirements and Guidance
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (LDOE) has recently amended the state
requirements for credit recovery programs. Bulletin 741 (found here) section 2324 states that beginning
in the 2020-2021 school year, LEAs are required to adhere to the following:
 Include credit recovery program and policy in the local pupil progression plan submitted to LDE.
 Students may earn a maximum of seven credit recovery units that may be applied towards diploma
     graduation requirements and no more than two Carnegie units annually. The school system must
     annually report to LDE the rationale for any student:
          o Receiving more than two credit recovery credits annually; and/or
          o Applying more than seven total credit recovery Carnegie units towards graduation
 Students earning Carnegie credit in a credit recovery course must have previously taken and failed
     the course. Previously attempted coursework is considered an academic record and must be
     recorded on the official transcript.
 Completed credit recovery courses must be recorded and clearly labeled on the official transcript.
 Students enrolled in credit recovery courses are not required to meet the instructional minute
     requirements found in §333.A
 Credit recovery courses must be aligned with state content standards and include a standards-
     aligned pre-assessment to identify unfinished learning and a standards-aligned post-assessment to
     demonstrate course proficiency for content identified as non-proficient.
 Credit recovery courses taught in a classroom setting using online courses designed for credit
     recovery must have an assigned certified Louisiana teacher of record or certified teacher of record
     recognized through a state reciprocity agreement facilitating the instruction.
 The end-of-course exam weight in a student’s final grade determined by the LEA must be the same for
     a traditional course and a credit recovery course. Students who have previously passed the end-of-
     course exam, but have failed the course, may choose to retain the previous end-of-course exam score
     in lieu of participating in an additional administration of the exam.

The Louisiana Department of Education has also developed additional considerations listed below (this
information was taken from a recent LDOE credit recovery PowerPoint deck). Please note that these are
not requirements but are simply suggestions.
 Assure all programs are facilitated by a certified instructor on campus.
 If using online programs, use reputable providers and have certified instructors facilitating student
 Programs should be inclusive of all Louisiana state standards in rigor and include a variety of
    activities and taxonomies to engage and assess students.
 All programs should have a written program policy present in the local Pupil Progression Plan
    submitted to the Louisiana Department of Education.

      Programs should have written program policy and procedures that may include, but not be limited
       to, admission and removal, instruction, attendance, content and curriculum and grading policies
       that are signed off on by students and parents/guardians.
      Certified instructors may opt to customize content prescriptively to allow students to test out of
       mastered content and engage students in learning areas identified as unfinished learning.
      Certified instructors should identify realistic timeframes for students to learn, practice and show
       mastery of unfinished learning.
      Participating students should have regularly designated time for work and/or required hours of
       engagement and realistic timeframes for engaging in learning and completing courses.
      A certified facilitator should regularly monitor progress and offer assistance and feedback to
      Assessments should be proctored.
      Students must have a posttest created by the school system or content provider to demonstrate
       proficiency in areas identified as unfinished learning from the pretest.
      If a student falls out of line with the policy, earning more than 2 credit recovery units annually or
       over 7 credit recovery units in total during high school, the overage is reported to LDOE with a
       rationale. Please complete the Credit Recovery Overage Form at the end of each semester.

School sites and LEAs should ensure that they meet all credit recovery regulations that are determined by
the Louisiana Department of Education. The check list below lists all regulations that should be followed
and has been reviewed and approved by the Louisiana Department of Education. If all responses are yes,
then the LEA and/or school site has met all requirements.

       Credit Recovery To Do List to Ensure LDOE Requirements are Met                                      Yes or No
    Is credit recovery program and policy in the local pupil progression plan submitted to LDE? (Example
    pupil progression plan language for credit recovery is provided in the appendix)
    Has the student previously taken and failed the course prior to enrolling in Credit Recovery?
    Has the student earned less than 7 credit recovery credits?
    Has the school system annually reported to LDE the rationale for any student who either received
    more than two credit recovery credits annually, and/or applied more than seven total credit
    recovery Carnegie units towards graduation requirements?
    Are credit recovery courses recorded clearly on the students' official transcript?
    Is the student’s original course failure present on the students’ official transcript?
    Are credit recovery courses taught in a classroom setting using online courses designed for credit
    recovery that have an assigned certified Louisiana teacher of record or certified teacher of record
    recognized through a state reciprocity agreement facilitating the instruction?
    Is the end-of-course exam weight in a student’s final grade the same for a traditional course and a
    credit recovery course?
    Is a certified facilitator regularly monitoring progress and offering assistance and feedback to
    Are credit recovery assessments proctored?

Paying for Credit Recovery
Schools and LEAs can utilize supplemental course academy (SCA) funding to pay for certain credit
recovery courses. SCA funds can be used to pay for credit recovery opportunities if the vendor is an
approved SCA course provider (the 2020-2021 list can be found here) and they offer an approved credit
recovery course (list can be found here). Several approved credit recovery providers are offering credit
recovery courses, but only the courses listed in the directory can be funded through SCA. It is important

to note that schools can still utilize credit recovery courses that are not on the list, but alternative
sources of funding must be utilized.

High School Equivalency Credential (HiSET)
Obtaining a HISET, a high school equivalency credential that is considered equivalent to a regular high
school diploma, may be a viable option for an overage under-credited student based on their unique
needs and individual circumstances. A HiSET can position an overage under-credited student for a career
or continued education.

What the Research Says
Research shows that there are several individual and societal benefits to obtaining a HISET. Evidence
shows a clear economic benefit for individuals who have obtained a HISET when compared to those who
have not received one. The economic benefits are especially significant for individuals who drop out of
high school with low skills. One study found that a HISET holder yields approximately $385,000 more in
their lifetime than those who do not have a HiSET or a high school diploma. The study determined that
obtaining a HISET increased the individual’s employability and opened the door for advanced and
specialized training. It is worth noting that research shows that economic benefit is slower relative to a
student who graduated with a high school diploma and the effects take some time to appear. In addition
to individual economic benefits, obtaining a HISET has broader individual and social impacts including
increased mental and physical health among other benefits.

State Requirements and Guidance
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and the Louisiana Department of
Education have provided a guidance documents and guidelines for HiSET programming. LDOE’s most
recent guidance, which was released in 2019, is in the form of frequently asked questions and can be
found here and is summarized below.

Louisiana Department of Education
 A student must enroll/transfer into a LCTCS approved school system monitored program (which is
    authorized by the school system to be offered to an overage, under-credited student, and meets the
    unique needs and circumstances of the student) or a Louisiana Community and Technical College
    System (LCTCS) WorkReady-U Adult Education Program to pursue a HSE credential.
 An LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education Program provides adult education and literacy services,
    workforce preparation skills, workplace literacy, integrated education and training, and integrated
    English literacy and Civics education programs for eligible individuals. The LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult
    Education Program prepares a student for the HSE exam. To locate a program provider in your area,
    please visit the LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education Program website.
 Individuals may enroll if they are 16 years of age and are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in
    secondary school under state law, don’t have a secondary school diploma or its recognized
    equivalent, and have not achieved an equivalent level of education, or are an English language
    learner. Students 16-17 years of age, not enrolled in K-12, must have a hardship age waiver
    approved and signed by the local superintendent and/or a designee to enroll in an LCTCS
    WorkReady-U Adult Education Program. Students age 18 or older, not enrolled in K-12, must have a
    drop slip from the school system to be eligible to enroll in an LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education
    Program. For a student enrolled in an LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education Program, the school
    system should exit the student using code 11 in the Student Information System (SIS).

   For accountability incentives, the student enrolled at an LCTCS Adult Education Program will have
    until October 1 of the academic year following their last day of enrollment in a public high school to
    earn the HSE. A school and school system will receive 25 index points for a student earning a HSE or
    40 points for earned a HSE and a statewide credential.
   A student enrolled in a school system monitored HSE program can and should remain on the school
    system enrollment roster until the student either earns the HSE equivalency credential or reaches
    the age of 21.
   A student must be at least 16 years of age to take the HSE exam. Students must be enrolled in an
    approved HSE program (e.g., a school system monitored HSE program, an existing Louisiana Options
    program recognized by LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education Program, or an LCTCS WorkReady-U
    Adult Education Program) to take the HSE exam. HSE test centers require the HSE program the
    student is attending to issue a Louisiana test authorization form prior to a student taking the HSE

LCSTS has also provided guidance for administrators and is especially pertinent to any student enrolled
in an LCTCS WorkReady-U Adult Education Program. Policy number 1.105 pertains to High School
Equivalency guidelines, which can be found here and is summarized below.
 Age Requirements
        o A student shall be 17 years of age or older to be administered the High School Equivalency
        o A married or emancipated individual may be permitted to take the High School Equivalency
            Test at 16 years of age and above.
        o A student who has attained the age of 16 and qualified to take the High School Equivalency
            Test may request an age waiver from the local school superintendent if one or more of the
            following hardships exist and if appropriate documentation is on file at the local school
            board office:
                  pregnant or actively parenting
                  incarcerated or adjudicated
                  institutionalized or living in a residential facility
                  chronic physical or mental illness
                  family and/or economic hardships.
                  All other requests for age waivers, because of hardships not listed above, must be
                     approved by the Louisiana Community and Technical College (LCTCS) prior to the
                     student scheduling the High School Equivalency Test.
                  Individuals 15 years of age and below shall not be permitted to take the High School
                     Equivalency Test under any circumstances
 Qualifying Requirements
        o Individuals 19 years of age or above do not have to qualify for the High School Equivalency
            Test by taking the State approved Official High School Equivalency Practice Test.
        o Individuals between 17-18 years of age or 16 years of age with an approved age waiver may
            qualify for the High School Equivalency Test by taking the State approved Official Practice
            Test and achieve qualifying scores as established by the State.
        o Qualifying scores on the Official Half-Length Practice Test shall be certified by State-
            approved adult education sites of instruction. Any state-approved adult education site of
            instruction may recommend an individual to take the High School Equivalency Test.

o   The High School Equivalency Test may not be administered to candidates who are enrolled
            in an accredited high school unless they are enrolled in a state recognized K-12 Options
        o   The High School Equivalency Test may not be administered to candidates who have
            graduated from an accredited high school.

Local HISET Providers
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)
 YEP provides adult basic education and HiSET classes to out-of-school youth ages 16 and up.
 Offers HiSET programming at YEP’s Mid-City and Algiers locations as well as a few schools that have
   developed signed agreement with YEP
        Community based referral: Open to any youth aged 16 and up who meet the requirements
           to participate in HiSET programming.
        School Referral or LEA monitored Pathway: Schools may partner with YEP and allow eligible
           students to enter their LEA Monitored HiSET program where students continue to be
           enrolled at the school and receive programming through YEP. If LEAs and school are
           interested in the partnering with YEP, reach out to YEP point of contact listed below.
 YEP is a state approved HiSET provider
 Small group and virtual classes are available
 Visit their website for more information at
 Point of Contact:
        Jessica Irving
        Director, YEP Educates
        (504) 237-3815

Youth Challenge Program (YCP)
 The Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program (YCP) is an alternative educational program
   which offers adolescents an opportunity to change their future.
 Offers a unique two-part program that teaches students core academics and life skills and
   encourages young people to become productive and accomplished in their chosen field.
 A 17-month program which consists of two phases.
        During the 5-month Residential Phase, students live on site at one of the three locations:
            Camp Minden near Shreveport, Camp Beauregard in Central Louisiana, and The Gillis W.
            Long Center near Baton Rouge. During this phase, students attend school, receive individual
            counseling and are supervised 24 hours per day.
        After graduation, students return home and enter the 12-month Post Residential Phase.
            During this phase, students attend daily classes with certified instructors and work at their
            own pace to improve their math and reading skills in order to increase their individual grade
            level. Those students who meet state eligibility requirements are provided the opportunity
            to test for their high school equivalency diploma.
 YCP is a state approved HiSET provider.
 Must be 16 or older to apply and must provide documentation of student’s age (State ID, Driver’s
   License, Birth Certificate, etc.)
 Point of Contact:
    Timberly Deville
    Education Coordinator, LANG Youth Challenge Programs

      (318) 641-5803

Alternative and Accelerated Schools

What the Research Says
Alternative or accelerated schools have been shown by research to effectively keep students in school or
reengage them if they dropout. Alternative and accelerated schools have been successful in:
 Reducing truancy
 Improving attitudes toward school
 Accumulating high school credits
 Reducing behavior problems

Research shows that successful alternative and accelerated schools to have:
 Small student to teacher ration
 High staff to student ration
 Clearly stated and articulated mission and discipline code
 Caring faculty with continual staff development
 School staff having high expectations for student achievement
 Learning program specific to the student’s expectations and learning style
 Flexible school schedule with community involvement and support
 Total commitment to have each student be a success
 Provide students with a range of supports and services

State Requirements and Guidance
The Louisiana Department of Education has released several guidance documents and resources that
relate to alternative education. Because the documents contain a lot of relevant information, a
summary and link of each document is provided below:
 Bulletin 131Alternative Education Schools/Programs Standards
         o Lays out the general provisions of alternative education and details the mission and
             purpose, safety and counseling, the creation of a professional development plans, academic
             interventions and supports, school climate and culture, transitions and the placement
             process, mental health supports and interventions, and accountability
 Bulletin 741—Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators
         o Details the Connections Process and agreements with alternative education providers
 Alternative Education Study Group Report
 In March 2017, LDOE formed the Alternative Education Study Group to provide guidance for
    improving alternative education services and practices statewide for students who are most at-risk
    for not completing their education. The working group was charged with four tasks:
         o Conduct a strategic assessment of Louisiana’s current alternative education practice and
             policy, compared to national best practice and policy
         o Develop a state action plan to define effective alternative education and accountability
         o Identify support services and programs available to alternative education students,
             teachers, and families
         o Develop partnerships to enhance and expand the effectiveness of alternative services

Local Alternative or Accelerated Schools
These schools are designed to serve a particular group of students, such as those who have been
expelled, incarcerated, or those who are parents or employed. In 2019, all four NOLA-PS alternative
schools ranked within the top 10 alternative schools statewide. Notably, The NET Charter High School is
the second ranked site in the state, and the Travis Hill School at the Youth Study Center is ranked fourth
in the state. Of note, the Travis Hill School, which serves incarcerated youth, was one of only six
alternative schools statewide to earn a “B” on the Progress index. These grades showcase the positive
impact NOLA-PS’ alternative programs are having with students in New Orleans.

The Net: Gentilly
 Charter Organization: Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA)
 Grades Served and Student Population: Serves 175 students 9th-12th grade along with over-age 8th
   graders through a dual-enrollment program
 Accountability Letter Grade: C
 Student Schedules: Very flexible. Students can either be on a year-round or semester based model
   and can enroll in as many courses as they want. Course offerings are scattered throughout the day
   to accommodate the flexibility of scheduling
 Student Support Services: Students have access to a host of supports and interventions, many of
   which are provided in house. Services provided include group counseling, healthcare assistance,
   health screenings and immunization services, occupational therapy, post-graduation support, and
   restorative counseling and approaches
 Special Education Model: Inclusion with individualized supports as needed
 Jumpstart Pathways: Carpentry, Digital Media, Electrician, Graphic Design, Skilled Crafts, Video
 More Information: Visit the school’s Enroll NOLA school profile or the EQA website for more

The Net: Central City
 Charter Organization: Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA)
 Grades Served and Student Population: Serves 150 students 9th-12th grade along with over-age 8th
   graders through a dual-enrollment program
 Accountability Letter Grade: C
 Student Schedules: Very flexible. Students can either be on a year-round or semester based model
   and can enroll in as many courses as they want. Course offerings are scattered throughout the day
   to accommodate the flexibility of scheduling
 Student Support Services: Students have access to a host of supports and interventions, many of
   which are provided in house. Services provided include group counseling, healthcare assistance,
   health screenings and immunization services, occupational therapy, post-graduation support, and
   restorative counseling and approaches
 Special Education Model: Inclusion with individualized supports as needed
 Jumpstart Pathways: Carpentry, Digital Media, Electrician, Graphic Design, Skilled Crafts, Video
 More Information: Visit the school’s Enroll NOLA school profile or the EQA website for more

New Orleans Accelerated (Formally ReNEW Accelerated)
 Charter Organization: Educators for Quality Alternatives (EQA)

   Grades Served and Student Population: Serves approximately 165 students 9th-12th grade
   Accountability Letter Grade: C
   Student Schedules: Very flexible. Students can either be on a year-round or semester-based model
    and can enroll in as many courses as they want. Course offerings are scattered throughout the day
    to accommodate the flexibility of scheduling
   Student Support Services: Students have access to a host of supports and interventions, many of
    which are provided in house. Services provided include family counseling and restorative counseling
    and approaches
   Special Education Model: Full continuum of services including community based instructional
    setting. Contact School for More Information
   Jumpstart Pathways: Carpentry, Digital Media, Emergency Medical Services, Pre-Nursing. Career and
    technical education opportunities for all students including CNA, Phlebotomy, EKG, EMR, Digital
    Media and NCCER Core (NOTEP Half Day Program).
   More Information: Visit the school’s Enroll NOLA school profile or the EQA website for more

Travis Hill
 Brief Description: For school aged person who are in secure care in New Orleans. The program
    provides teens and young adults with a top-notch education that is relevant, meaningful and
    designed to help students re-engage with school, both while in secure care and upon release
 Charter Organization: NOLA-PS
 Grades Served and Student Population: Serves both juveniles and any 18- to 21-year-olds who were
    close to getting a high school degree and are incarcerated
 Student Schedules: The school condenses its units and semesters as students rotate among math,
    science, social studies, English, and art. Students take the same standardized tests as every student
    in Louisiana and can earn a high school diploma, not just an equivalency degree
 Student Support Services: Travis Hill staff assist young people with connecting to meaningful
    programming and resources that will aid them in being successful in the community. This can
    include school/community extracurricular programming, mental health services, medical care; etc.
    The Travis Hill team will also assist students with having a seamless transition from the Travis Hill
    School. The team will ensure the timely transfer of school records, assist the student with (re)entry
    to a community school. Also, the team will attend the student's (re)entry meeting to ensure that the
    school has a plan to meet the student’s educational needs.
 More Information: Visit the school’s website for more information

Research Based Strategies to Prevent Disengagement
Monitoring Student Engagement
Research overwhelmingly supports using real time data to monitor student engagement can effectively
help schools identify students who were at-risk of dropping out as well as aid in delivering personalized
supports to help students overcome their current challenges. Schools interested in created a system
that monitors student engagement should:
 Consider building a system that allows teachers to track student progress over time and enables
    data driven decision making. Research shows that the best systems collect data on grade retention,
    student absences, academic achievement, and disengagement—including behavioral infractions.
 Collect and document accurate information when students are absent for an extended period or
    when they officially withdraw. School personnel can intervene promptly if they know when and why

a student is absent or withdrawn. Detailed information can serve to inform the intervention
    practices if the student returns or reenrolls in his or her current school or at his or her subsequent
    school placement.

Developing Trusting Relationships
Developmental research finds that the presence of a caring, trusted adult in the life of a child
contributes to engagement in school and resilience in the face of adverse circumstances. Further, such
relationships are especially critical for marginalized youth. Strengthening bonds with students and
forging connections with those signaling they are on the path to dropout is particularly important during
the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some strategies that have been cited by research to help foster
trusting relationships between students and adults (which should be implemented following appropriate
policy regarding communications with educators):
 Send a personalized text or make a personal call: reach out to let students know you are concerned
    about their well-being. Consider using leading questions to assess their situation, such as:
         o How are you feeling?
         o How is your family adjusting?
         o Are there home responsibilities that are interfering with your learning (for example, caring
             for siblings or other family members, working a job, etc.)?
         o Do you need anything?
         o What can I do to help you?
 Use creative, informal modes of outreach: students who struggle in school may have difficulty
    dealing with traditional models of schooling. Consider nonthreatening strategies to engage with
    students, such as:
         o Dropping off a care package with a personal note with an invitation to connect.
         o Using social media to communicate with students in a venue in which they are comfortable.
         o Setting up regular check-in calls with students and families, or groups of students, and be
             prepared to suggest topics that will interest participants ready for discussion.

Addressing Potential Barriers to Student Engagement
Research has found that the process of disengagement and dropping out is multifaceted and occurs over
time. While some factors are complicated and difficult to tackle, many can be addressed quickly. The
following are some of the considerations schools should make as they address student disengagement.
 Consider students' home situation—layoffs and social distancing may introduce economic and
     personal stressors that manifest poor school engagement. Where possible, offer information to help
     students and their families cope with challenges introduced by COVID-19, for example:
         o Provide information on school meal distribution points.
         o Identify school counselors or therapists who may provide psychological support.
         o Connect families to community groups that provide social services (e.g., YMCA, Boys & Girls
             Club, faith-based groups, etc.).
 Assess students' home learning environments—determine the root cause of student disengagement.
     Poor attendance, behavior, or bad grades might be due to external factors. Ask about students':
         o Access to Wi-Fi and computers.
         o Ability to access hard-copy packets.
         o Configuration of their home learning space (i.e., do they have a quiet place to work?).
 Provide personalized instructional supports—students may struggle to engage in online instruction
     or be afraid to engage in a public discussion. Take steps to customize instruction to individual
     student needs, for example by:

o   Offering one-on-one tutoring using a videoconferencing platform to share screens.
        o   Structuring assignments to address known learning challenges.
        o   Assigning work related to a student's specific area of interest (e.g., cars, gardening).
        o   Identifying students dealing with similar challenges and, if appropriate, engaging them in a
            supportive group chat so they feel less alone.

Taking Advantage of External Resources in New Orleans
The New Orleans region has a diverse array of external entities that provide a variety of different
supports geared towards disengaged students or those at risk of dropping out. Below is a description of
the types of support available, what the research says about the type of support, and a list of external
entities in the region that provide the support. Please note that the list of entities is not a fully
exhaustive list and there are several other entities not listed that provide resources and supports to
students. The New Orleans Youth Alliance publishes a Youth Programs Directory annually which can be
found on their web site. Below are various programs organized by category.

Academic, Social, Emotional, Mental, and Other Special Supports
Evidence clearly shows that there are several positive outcomes associated with students receiving high
quality supports and interventions that are tailored to their unique needs. Schools and LEAs should
consider the following processes when selecting the right interventions and supports for students.
 Identify the root cause, collect baseline data, and develop goals.
 Search for entities that provide supports and interventions
 Consider the benefits, fit, and disadvantages of the intervention options
 Check to see if the interventions or supports have evidence that show they work
 Consider the contextual factors such as location, staff-student ratio, time of day, etc.
 Ask for past relationships with schools and reach out to them to get their opinion on the

         Academic, Social, Emotional, Mental, and Other Special Service Providers in New Orleans
                            Provides a safe space for adolescent girls to learn and express themselves
 The Beautiful Foundation
                            through school based and community programming.
                            A nonprofit with a mission to end criminalization of LGBTQ+ youth in New
                            Orleans. Serves youth between the ages of 13-25 through healing, organizing
                            and leadership development to address core issues of job education and
                            housing for LGBTQ+ youth.
                            Provides educational and intensive mental health supports in an innovative
                            partnership with the Tulane University Medical School Department of Child
                            and Adolescent Psychiatry to ensure the emotional well-being and academic
   Center for Resilience    readiness of children with behavioral health needs in the Greater New Orleans
                            region. Children receive instructional, medical, and therapeutic services at
                            program sites with the goal of building the skills necessary to successfully
                            transition back to the traditional school setting.
                            The mission of the Community Commitment Education Center is to connect
                            the residents of the New Orleans area with available resources. Offers families
 Community Commitment
                            advocacy support within schools, social skills training, and behavior
     Education Center
                            modification groups. Also holds an after-school enrichment program and a 6-
                            week summer camp serving kids ages 4-13.

Immerses students in academic enrichment that strengthens curriculum
                          through integration of the arts and culture. Assists students in
                          English/Language Arts, STEM, and math skills using Louisiana Student
   Community Works
                          Standards. Provides enrichment-integrated activities that broaden
                          participants’ horizons. Supports the overall physical, psychological, and
                          cognitive development of youth.
   Daughters Beyond       Works to enhance the lives of girls growing up fatherless. We do this through
     Incarceration        public education, advocacy and mentoring.
                          Dibia DREAM's mission is to foster life skills development through STEM, sports
     Dibia DREAM
                          and recreational education for underserved youth.
                          Builds girls' confidence and capabilities by engaging them through STEM.
                          Provides in-school, after-school, weekend, and summer programs develop girls
                          into confident leaders and role models in technology by creating a community
     Electric Girls       where girls can learn with and from each other. Helps girls build fundamental
                          STEM skills and then give girls the space, resources, and guidance to
                          implement these skills into their own self-directed projects and inventions that
                          they design, build, and take home.
                          An African-centered, rites of passage program that provides mentoring and
                          culturally rooted programming that prepares girls of African descent for their
                          transition from adolescence to adulthood. Uses an evidence-based curriculum
 Project Butterfly New
                          and incorporates popular culture, media, cultural awareness, leadership
                          development, art, physical health and wellness activities and beyond to
                          respond to the unique needs of African American girls. The program serves
                          girls across New Orleans in grades 9-12.
                          YAYA’s mission is to empower creative young people to become successful
         YAYA             adults. Provides educational experiences in the arts and entrepreneurship to
                          the youth of New Orleans, fostering and supporting their individual ambitions.
                          The largest provider of arts in education services in the state of Louisiana.
                          Young Audiences mission is to unite, inspire, empower children and
                          communities through education, arts, and culture. Serves children and families
   Young Audiences
                          birth through 12th grade through after school and summer programs, in
                          school arts-integrated residencies, professional development for teachers and
                          teaching artists, and community programs.
                          A youth writing nonprofit that helps students in grades 1-12 strengthen their
   826 New Orleans
                          writing skills and then publish their work.
                          An educational support agency that provides after school, weekend, and
  Generation Success
                          summer programming to youth.
     North Rampart        Hosts an 8-week summer camp annually. Participants have a schedule that
Community Center: After   varies from session to session with different themed weeks, as well as special
    School Program        events that make each day new and exciting.
 Start the Adventure in   A free one-on-one after school and weekend tutoring program that improves
         Reading          the self-esteem and reading skills of lower elementary students.
                          An out-of-school time enrichment program for young people, ages 7 to 18, in
                          the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. YEP’s Afterschool Program and
 Youth Empowerment
                          Summer Camp offer a range of structured activities, including a basketball
                          team, drumline, and dance team, as well as cooking classes, arts and music
                          instruction, tutoring, and homework help. YEP also runs Louisiana’s only Camp

Mariposa, a national addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth
                              who have been impacted by substance abuse in their families.

Mentoring or assigning an adult advocate to at-risk students has shown to be an effective tool to keep
students engaged, especially when combined with other interventions. Successful mentoring programs
typically have:
 Mentors who develop strong bonds with students and their families and focus beyond addressing
    students’ academic and behavioral concerns to emphasizing the linkage between school and home
    as well as simultaneously promoting a relationship of trust and respect.
 To the extent possible, caseloads should not be larger than 15 students to allow for advocates to
    build a trusting relationship and be able to work with students, parents, and school staff to address
    multiple facets of students’ life.
 An advocate that regularly checks student data to inform efforts to establish and maintain
    connections with students, parents, school staff, and other necessary support personnel. Although
    checking data is a necessary part of the intervention process, efforts should be made to make this as
    efficient as possible so that instead of spending most of the time on data collection, actual
    intervention time with students is maximized.
 A formalized process by which mentors are screened and students are matched with mentors. It is
    critically important for the mentor and mentee to develop a strong relationship. Ensuring that the
    mentor and mentee are a good match is vital.

                                     Mentoring Programs in New Orleans
                              Works with sponsors to deliver educational support services and unique
                              learning opportunities that assist youth in achieving their educational goals.
       100 Black Men
                              Also provides tutoring and college application assistance to young African
                              Americans within our community.
                              An African-centered rites of passage program that provides mentoring and
      Project Butterfly       culturally rooted programming to prepare girls of African descent for their
                              transition from adolescence to adulthood.
                              A young professional network of African American women serving as positive
     The Orchid Society       role models for young minority girls in the New Orleans metro area through
                              mentoring, community service and social awareness programming.
  Volunteers of America's     Matches caring adults with youth who have a parent in prison. Mentors
   Mentoring Children of      volunteer to give these young people extra acceptance, attention,
     Promise Program          encouragement, guidance and hope.
                              Offers students the opportunity to be mentored one on one by trained
                              volunteers who make a year-long commitment to the program. Students are
                              offered the opportunity to be matched with a volunteer mentor who meet one
    Each One Save One
                              hour a week during free periods or lunch times and with permission from
                              parents or guardians, students engage in activities such as field trips, sport
                              events and other meaningful activities.
                              Transforms the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional
       Son of a Saint         support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences and
                              formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.
                              Helps academically motivated middle and high school students rise above
   Boys Hope Girls Hope
                              disadvantaged backgrounds and become successful in college and beyond.

Their goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally and
                              academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life,
                              breaking the cycle of poverty.
                              A transition program designed to help Louisiana’s foster youth, ages 13-25,
                              Upbring BeREAL New Orleans empowers them to become contributing and
    BeREAL New Orleans        self-sufficient members of our communities, ultimately helping to break
                              generational cycles of poverty and abuse. BeREAL New Orleans is a joint
                              project of Upbring and Louisiana’s Department of Children & Family Services.
                              Inspires, encourages, and motivates young girls through one-on-one
                              mentoring, powerful group presentations, group outings, job/college
                              preparation, reading programs, community outreach, and much more. The
       Girlz 2 Success
                              long-term goal of the program is to empower young girls to prevent habits that
                              are leading to teen pregnancy, school dropouts, suicide, peer pressure, and
                              other pitfalls that can derail lives.
                              Makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and
                              children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. We
   Big Brothers Big Sisters
                              develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives
                              of young people.
                              Inspires and incentivizes men of color to choose education as a career. The
                              program is designed to help them learn while they earn by serving as after-
  Brothers Empowered to
                              school mentors and directly working in local schools. The programs are
                              combined with mentoring, professional development, and opportunities to be
                              A nonprofit that supports, trains, and provides mentors to young boys and
     Silverback Society
                              men in New Orleans.
                              Serves as student success coaches, helping students build on their strengths
   City Year New Orleans      and cultivate social, emotional, and academic skills that are important in
                              school and life.
                              A community-based mentoring program for system-involved young people,
                              ages 8 to 21, who are referred to YEP by the Louisiana Office of Juvenile
   Youth Empowerment          Justice, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, or the St. Charles Parish Juvenile
          Project             Court. YEP youth advocates provide participants with supportive services,
                              individualized goal setting, and case management. Currently, only youth
                              referred by contract partners are eligible for enrollment.

College and Career Readiness Programs
Students are best prepared for life after high school when they have access to a wide variety of college
and career supports that are tailored to their interests. Research indicates that successful and
compressive college and career readiness programs typically have eight common components that may
be applied across the primary, middle, and secondary grades:
1. College Aspiration: Build a college-going culture based on early college awareness by nurturing in
    students the confidence to aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges along the
    way. Maintain high expectations by providing adequate supports, building social capital and
    conveying the conviction that all students can succeed in college.

2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness: Advance students’ planning, preparation,
   participation, and performance in a rigorous academic program that connects to their college and
   career aspirations and goals.
3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement: Ensure equitable exposure to a wide range of
   extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build leadership, nurture talents and interests,
   and increase engagement with school.
4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes: Provide early and ongoing exposure to
   experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or
   career that connects to academic preparation and future aspirations.
5. College and Career Assessments: Promote preparation, participation and performance in college
   and career assessments by all students.
6. College Affordability Planning: Provide students and families with comprehensive information
   about college costs, options for paying for college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes
   and eligibility requirements, so they can plan for and afford a college education.
7. College and Career Admission Processes: Ensure that students and families have an early and
   ongoing understanding of the college and career application and admission processes so they can
   find the postsecondary options that are the best fit with their aspirations and interests.
8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment: Connect students to school and
   community resources to help the students overcome barriers and ensure the successful transition
   from high school to college.

                           College and Career Readiness Programs in New Orleans
                              Cafe’ Reconcile’s paid job training program will equip young adults age 16 – 24
       Café Reconcile         years old with the skills and support services any professional needs to be
                              A supplemental course choice provider that provides high-quality, industry-
                              informed, career and technical education training, credentialing, and support
    New Orleans Career
                              for successful high school transition, post-secondary placement, and
                              persistence. The career center offers programming in healthcare, engineering
                              and manufacturing, and hospitality management and culinary arts.
                              The career and technical education intermediary for the city of New Orleans.
                              Youthforce partners with employers in high-wage industries to expose
                              students to different career pathways and take their first step into the
     YouthForce NOLA          workforce. YouthForce has several college and career readiness programs that
                              are geared toward students interested in career and technical education.
                              These programs include LAUNCH, an internship program, career expos, and
                              among others.
                              A supplemental course choice provider that offers digital media courses and
           NOVAC              career and technical education to high school students throughout southeast
                              A supplemental course choice provider that works with students to gain
                              academic credit, earn industry approved credentials, and helps them with next
                              steps of entering the industry. NOTEP offers HVAC, Electrical, and Carpentry
                              industry-based certifications.
      Operation Spark         A supplemental course choice provider that focuses on software development.
                              Provides quality summer experiences that build a pipeline to career
     NOLA Youth Work
                              opportunities for local youth ages 16-21. The focus of the summer

employment program is to expose participants to careers of interest with the
                            intention of creating a career ready workforce. Youth will earn a stipend while
                            they gain experience to define their career goals.
                            Helps local students overcome many of the challenges they face, stay
Cowen Institute’s Upward    connected through college, and find post-secondary success. The program
    Bound Program           provides weekly tutoring, individual counseling, and supplemental academic
                            support in addition to rigorous coursework and standardized test preparation.
                            Provides students with a cadre of academic, life skills and career readiness
                            support to prepare them for high school graduation and post-secondary
Urban League of Louisiana   success. Central to Project Ready is its selective dual enrollment program,
     Project Ready          which ensures that students are equipped with the skills necessary to compete
                            for in-demand jobs with career ladders that pay not just a living, but a saving
                            Provides a culinary pathway for New Orleans young people to create and
    Liberty's Kitchen
                            achieve their vision of success.
                            A free college completion program serving students from low-income
      College Track
                            communities who will be the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree.
                            A one-year college and career bridge year fellowship for graduating seniors
    Next Level NOLA         who have completed all requirements for a high school diploma but have yet
                            to quality for TOPS.
                            A YouthForce NOLA pilot bridge year program for students who have met all
                            their graduation requirements but have yet to qualify for TOPS.
                            A no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the
        Job Corp            U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 to 24 improve the
                            quality of their lives through career technical and academic training.
                            Dedicated to helping inner-city youth with film-industry specific workforce
  The Cool Cooperative      development. Offers summer programs, after-school programs, and hands-on
                            training in film production.
                            Junior Achievement's purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to
                            successfully participate in the community through workforce readiness,
 Junior Achievement of      entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Junior Achievement's programs—in
  Greater New Orleans       the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial
                            literacy—ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the
                            opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.
                            A construction and conservation job training program for young adults
                            between the ages of 18-25. Students get hands-on training in construction,
 Louisiana Green Corps
                            energy efficiency/weatherization and green infrastructure while also working
                            on academics, soft-skills, and attaining nationally recognized certifications.
                            A workforce development reentry nonprofit for formerly incarcerated young
                            men ages 18-24. Provides a 16-week program to formerly incarcerated young
    Roots of Renewal
                            men where students receive a peer mentor, financial literacy and learn about
                            the construction trade.
                            The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants
                            complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of
   Tulane University's
                            postsecondary education. Tulane’s Upward Bound program provides
 Upward Bound Program
                            participants with assistance with completing college applications, financial aid
                            workshops, weekly one on one tutoring, academic, financial, and personal

Counseling, ACT preparation, college exploration tours, a 6-week intensive
                              summer program, a college bridge program, and paid internships.
                              Provides rigorous programming for 6 weeks during the summer and
                              throughout the school year (monthly Saturday sessions) to enrich the
                              academic skill set of Breakthrough students. Works with families to determine
     Breakthrough New         the best-fit middle and high school placement. Supports high school students
          Orleans             through college and career counseling, ACT preparation courses, and
                              placement in internships, volunteer opportunities, and other experiential
                              activities. Trains and supports high school and college-aged students as
                              classroom teachers, mentors, and event planners.
                              Limitless Vistas, Inc.’s mission is to help young adults obtain the skills and
                              knowledge to become gainfully employed in the environmental industry or
       Limitless Vistas
                              conservation field, build a hopeful future, develop civic pride and establish life-
                              long conservation skills and attitudes.
                              A work-based learning program for youth, ages 16 to 24, who are either
                              disconnected from school or enrolled in alternative or non-traditional
    Youth Empowerment         educational programs. Participants earn stipends while gaining transferable
    Project’s Work-Based      work-based skills in customer service and social emotional learning. YEP’s
          Learning            postsecondary and employment transition team helps graduates progress into
                              employment, internships, postsecondary education, and advanced training

Additional Resources
   Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools
        o This practice guide provides school educators and administrators with four evidence-
            based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and high schools and
            improving high school graduation rates. Each recommendation provides specific, actionable
            strategies; examples of how to implement the recommended practices in schools; advice on
            how to overcome potential obstacles; and a description of the supporting evidence.
   National Dropout Prevention Center
        o Serves as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and offers strategies
            designed to increase the graduation rate in America’s schools. Their website provides
            research and evaluation of model programs, in addition to a variety of professional
            development activities.
   Center on Multi-Tiered System of Supports
        o The MTSS Center supports states, districts, and schools across the country in implementing
            an MTSS framework that integrates data and instruction within a multi-level prevention
            system to maximize student achievement and support students’ social, emotional, and
            behavior needs from a strengths-based perspective.
   Investing in Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning
        o This report from the Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety
            (SEL Center) provides guidance on how to assess local needs relative to SEL and how to
            identify appropriate evidence-based interventions that address those local needs.
   Community-Care Strategies for Schools During the Coronavirus Crisis: Practical Tips for School
    Staff and Administrators
        o This brief from the SEL Center offers practical guidance for educators and other school staff,
            and for administrators and other leaders, to help ensure that school communities are

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