Distance Learning

Iowa District Offers At-Risk Students Online Option for Graduation

In the latest phase of an effort to curb its high school dropout rate, the Davenport Community School District is now offering some students the opportunity to participate in an online standards-aligned program to receive their high school diplomas.

After discovering in 2010 that the third largest school district in Iowa had more than a 10-percent dropout rate, it launched its Dropout Reengagement Initiative. Following a community rally in August 2011, administrators went door to door in the district in which 62 percent of its nearly 16,000 students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and invited dropouts to "drop back in."

In each case, educators offered to create personalized graduation plans for each student and three students re-enrolled that day. In 2012 and 2013, the district held "Graduation Destination" events for dropouts, at-risk students and their parents to provide further assistance. By the 2012-13 school year, the dropout rate was down to less than 5 percent.

At that point, the district's efforts shifted to keeping students from ever leaving school.

With the help of Graduation Alliance, students will receive laptops that they can use to complete their studies in the self-directed online fully accredited program.

"Graduation Alliance's program is a game changer," said Davenport Community Schools Superintendent Art Tate. "It offers yet another opportunity for students who have left school to reengage and earn the high school diploma they need to be successful."

Details of the program will be announced at the next "Graduation Destination" event scheduled Aug. 15.

Graduation Alliance Senior Vice President Keith Myers said, "The flexibility of our solution and the individualized supports we provide naturally dovetail with Davenport's commitment to continuously improve graduation rates."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

THE News Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.