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
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.
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
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
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.