Friday, August 24, 2007

Dropout-prevention program gives grants to Alabama schools


MONTGOMERY — Some east Alabama school districts will receive financial help from the state for new programs to prevent students from dropping out of school.

As part of two dropout-prevention initiatives the State Department of Education is implementing this year, Talladega County Schools, Cleburne County Schools and Oxford City Schools have received grants for programs that state education officials hope will boost graduation rates.

States were able to compete for more than $5.1 million in grant money to be pilot sites for the new Dropout Prevention Adviser program and the Preparing Alabama Students for Success (PASS) program. The former puts dropout-prevention coordinators in all eight of Alabama’s school board districts, and the latter is an early intervention program for students identified as “at-risk” for dropping out.

As part of the Dropout Prevention Adviser program, Lincoln High School in Talladega County will be able to hire a dropout-prevention adviser to work with students and establish a community network that provides the support needed to graduate.

“The dropout prevention adviser is much like a graduation coach,” said State Superintendent of Education Joseph Morton. “They are at these schools to guide, direct and encourage students.”

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