Friday, October 16, 2009


by smf for 4LAKids

16Oct -- In what may well become an annual event on this coming Monday, Oct 19 Superintendent Ramon Cortines will lead teams of LAUSD school administrators, local and district staff and school counselors as they fan out across the District and scour the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles in coordinated teams in an effort to recover as many students as possible who are no longer attending school.

If the student is not enrolled in school, help via support services will be offered to get that young person back on track towards graduation and a diploma. While a minor not attending school is technically a crime, the emphasis will be on the carrot of education and a better future rather than the stick of a citation and court date.

Driven by an urgent need and commitment to recover as many students as possible, Superintendent Ramon Cortines and School Board Member Steven Zimmer initiated “Student Recovery Day” to recover students who are not enrolled in school. Student Recovery Day is based on a similar program in the Houston, Texas school district - a program that has been very successful in convincing students to return to the classroom– and ultimately turning dropouts into graduates.

The initial rollout of the Student Recovery Day program with Members of the Board of Education, Superintendent Cortines, and more than 100 School administrators, local and district staff with will be at Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley and Fairfax High School, Wilson High School and Fremont High School in Los Angeles. Other Student Recovery Day targeted high school sites include: Monroe, Los Angeles, Jefferson, Huntington Park and Banning High Schools. Schools were selected based upon a high number of students on potential dropout lists.

According to a District memo to staff, each year, LAUSD has over 20,000 students appear on its potential dropout lists.

· Students on these lists are in grades 7-12, and include students that left middle school and never made it to the high school they were expected to attend.

· The lists also include students that left or were withdrawn from school and never enrolled in any other school.

The Potential Dropout Lists are distributed to middle schools and high schools three times per year and typically the Diploma Project Counselors (DPC) and Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors (PSAC) take the lead in recovering our students.

In order to clear the lists, school staff must locate the students to determine if they are enrolled in school either within the District or elsewhere (another School District, another state, adult school, community college, etc.). Often times, these students’ families are highly mobile and difficult to locate. Once located, if the student is not enrolled in school, Diploma Project Counselors and Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors work with the student and family to support the student to earn a diploma. Various pathways and options are offered to the family including returning to the comprehensive high school, continuation school, community day school, adult education, community college, or any combination of the above.

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