Victoria ISD recently partnered with Graduation Alliance to help recover district students who are in danger of dropping out of school, have dropped out of school or are significantly behind in core subject courses.
The Graduation Alliance dropout recovery plan is a diploma completion recovery program provided through an online setting.
Recent updates within HB-3706 have allowed districts to run an online dropout recovery program with the same funding structure as the Texas Virtual Schools Network (TXVSN). The Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved VISD to implement an Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP) through the Graduation Alliance for the 2021-22 school year.
Within the first three weeks of implementation, VISD has referred 27 students to Graduation Alliance as potential candidates for the program. Graduation Alliance has enrolled 14 potential and former VISD dropouts into the recovery program.
“VISD recognizes student success may occur outside the boundaries of a traditional classroom,” said Dawn Maroney, director of Student Services for VISD. “By partnering with Graduation Alliance, VISD will reconnect with dropouts through an alternative online setting and increase student opportunities for a successful future.”
The district continues to prioritize the efforts of increasing the number of students who achieve their "And" by completing high school with a technical certificate, enlistment in the military or enrollment in a technical school, community college or university. The VISD Dropout Prevention and Recovery Team meets monthly to review the most recent dropouts and attempt to recover those students, enroll them in an alternative program or monitor their GED completion progress.
Support services offered by the program include outreach and engagement, transcript analysis, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and mobile hotspots, Texas-aligned curriculum facilitated by Texas licensed teachers and coaching and mentoring by academic coaches and local advocates. The program also includes CTE and Industry Based Certification preparation programs that relate directly to employment opportunities within the state.
"Our team is energized when we work with districts like Victoria who make a meaningful effort to seek out and support HS dropouts and high risk students,” said Ron Klausner, CEO of Graduation Alliance. Thanks for affording us the opportunity to collectively impact arguably the most disenfranchised people in our nation. We look forward to continuing this work with Dr. Shepherd and the Victoria ISD team.”
The trademark of the Graduation Alliance online dropout recovery program is the individualized support students receive during their time in the program. The barriers at-risk students face typically result from real-life issues and have little relation to individual abilities or skills. Whether battling chronic health issues, struggling to support a family as head of the household or suffering debilitating social anxiety, the students in this program receive the flexibility of time and place.