LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock ISD is taking a unique approach to encourage dropouts to return to school.
"Students drop out for a variety of different reasons and a lot of times people think it's because they have to work for their families or they may have a child they need to care for. There's a multitude of different reasons, but one of the primary reasons that students tend to drop out of school is lack of academic success in school," said Dr. Karen Garza, LISD Superintendent.
LISD Administrators have started an initiative called the Expectation Graduation walk.
A week from Saturday, Volunteers will go to the last known address of dropouts, try to find the students, and bring them back to enroll in school.
OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE
(Lubbock) - In a news conference today, the Lubbock Independent School District announced the district's new dropout prevention and recovery program, "Expectation Graduation." The announcement was made at the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Lubbock and Communities in Schools in attendance.
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Chairman-elect Irasema Velasquez said businesses and the entire community are impacted by students not completing their high school education. "When businesses are looking for skilled employees, we know if makes a difference if the applicant has earned a high school diploma." Velasquez also quoted statistics on the economic impact of dropouts. According to the Texas State Data Center, the average lifetime earnings of a person without a high school diploma are $500,000 while the lifetime earnings of a person with a high school diploma are more than double that - $1,167,000. Statistics from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice show that a person who has not completed high school is three times more likely to commit a crime and end up in a Texas prison than is a high school graduate.
Dr. Karen Garza, superintendent, said, "We are pleased to launch this initiative which we know will make a difference in the lives of students. It is critically important to the futures of these students and the health of our community that every student graduates college and career ready."
Garza invited the community to join the LISD effort by participating in one part of the initiative, the "Graduation Expectation Community Walk." The walk will be from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 18. Community volunteers and district employees will meet in the Jay Gordon Room at the LISD administrative offices, 1628 – 19th Street and break into teams. Each team will take the names of several students and go to the last known residence of the student and invite them back to school. LISD counselors and social service resources will be available to help students work through the barriers that keep them out of school. Other communities who have launched this kind of walk have reported the most effective people in getting a student to return to school are the student's former teachers.
Garza pointed out that the walk is only one piece of a larger strategy for dropout prevention and recovery. Research suggests many students drop out because they have academically fallen behind in school. The district will use data to closely track student progress from the minute the child enters school and provide early intervention to help all students be successful.
To join the "Expectation Graduation Walk" on Saturday, September 18, from 7:30 a.m. – 12 Noon, participants must register in advance on the "Expectation Graduation" Web site at: www.ExpectationGraduation.LubbockISD.org or by calling 806-766-1330.
"Expectation Graduation Walk"
Saturday, September 18, 7:30 a.m. – 12 Noon
LISD Central Office East, Jay Gordon Room, 1628 – 19th Street
Advance registration: 806-766-1330 or visit www.ExpectationGraduation.LubbockISD.org
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