Dropout Prevention Initiatives

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					    Statewide and Regional Dropout Prevention Initiatives
                       Mississippi Department of Education


   ON THE BUS: A branding campaign that includes television ads, radio spots,
    billboards and a Web site, all aimed at showing students, as well as parents and
    education officials, why graduating is important. The campaign was launched in
    fall 2007 with a goal of cutting the dropout rate by 50 percent in the next five to
    seven years. A $1.5 million grant from State Farm Insurance Companies funded
    “On the Bus.”

   OFFICE OF DROPOUT PREVENTION: A branch of the Mississippi
    Department of Education that is responsible for working with all other MDE
    offices, the community and other organizations to empower school districts and
    ensure student success. The Dropout Prevention Office includes the Office of
    Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement, School Counseling and Alternative
    Education.

   DROPOUT PREVENTION SUMMITS: Two statewide summits geared toward
    developing teen-led strategies to address the dropout problem and engage
    business, community and faith-based leaders in a process to identify and
    implement localized dropout prevention initiatives. The teen summit was held
    Jan. 15 and the adult summit was held Feb. 28.

   DISTRICT DROPOUT PREVENTION TEAMS: A team of people established
    in each district charged with developing effecting dropout prevention plans that
    will be effective in their area.

   BUSINESS DONATIONS:
       Nissan North America gave a total of $100,000 to 10 central Mississippi
     school districts for dropout prevention efforts. Each district laid out the different
     ways they plan to use the money at a roundtable at the company’s Canton plant
     in early May.
       Peavey Electronics designed a custom guitar in honor of the “On the Bus”
     campaign. Each time one of the guitars is sold, $400 will be donated to the
     Afterschool Alliance of Mississippi, an organization dedicated to raising
     awareness about the importance of after school programs.
                  Local Dropout Prevention Initiatives
                          Mississippi Department of Education


   PEER POWER PROGRAM: A new mentoring and tutoring program that will
    be implemented by the North Bolivar School District this fall. High school
    students will take 7th graders at Shelby Middle School under their wings, tutoring
    them as a paid-part time job. The program was made possible by a significant
    contribution from Shelby businessman and attorney Rives Neblett.

   MENTORING PROGRAM: A grant program designed to train adults to mentor
    students at Quitman Lower Elementary School in the Quitman School District.
    This year the district is planning to train up to 80 mentors and coordinators are
    hoping to expand the program to other schools in the district in the future.

   DRIVE FOR SUCCESS: A program offering high school juniors and seniors
    from Kossuth, Alcorn Central, Biggersville and Corinth high schools the chance
    to win a new 2008 Ford Mustang or one of several other prizes by keeping good
    grades and perfect attendance. The program is sponsored by Long-Lewis Ford,
    Lincoln and Mercury and the Daily Corinthian.

   P.L.E.D.G.E. CEREMONY: A new program at Hancock Middle School in the
    Hancock County School District aimed at encouraging 8th grade students to make
    a commitment to graduate by signing a pledge in a formal ceremony. The first
    ceremony was held in April and student leaders from the district’s high school
    spoke to reinforce the message of the importance of education to their younger
    peers. P.L.E.D.G.E. is an acronym for “I Promise to Learn Each Day and
    Graduate Empowered.”

   EARLY RELEASE: A program that will be instituted in the Hinds County
    School District next year that requires high school students that are failing one or
    more of their classes to take an hour of enrichment from 2:30-3:30 p.m. four day s
    a week. Students who are passing all their classes will be allowed to leave school
    earlier.

   DESTINATION GRADUATION!: An awareness campaign launched by the
    Pascagoula School District aimed at making students excited about leaving high
    school with a diploma and encouraging the community to get involved in the
    effort. As part of the effort to get the word out about the initiative, the district has
    held rallies, summits and roundtables with community organizations in the area.