LAUSD Officials Kick Off Innovative Campaign to Fight Dropout Problem 'My Future, My Decision' Campaign Will Utilize Cutting-Edge, Peer-to-Peer

Communications and Door-to-Door Visits to Connect with At-Risk and Dropped

Out Students



    LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Los Angeles Unified School
 District (LAUSD) Board President Monica Garcia, Board Member Richard
 Vladovic and Superintendent David L. Brewer III joined former dropouts to
 kick off "My Future, My Decision" -- an innovative new campaign to reach
 at-risk and dropped out students with information about LAUSD's resources
 to help them earn a high school diploma.
     Developed by LAUSD's Dropout Prevention and Recovery program, "My
 Future, My Decision" takes an integrated and comprehensive approach to
 meeting the critical challenge of reducing the dropout rate. The ongoing
 campaign extends LAUSD's current outreach efforts through cutting-edge,
 student-friendly communications channels -- including radio promotions,
 text messaging and peer-to-peer outreach through social networking Web
 sites -- that truly resonate with students.
     Following a press conference at David Starr Jordan High School, LAUSD
 officials joined 50 recovered dropout students to congratulate them on
 their re-entry into high school.
     "We have a drop-out crisis in LAUSD, and we must act boldly and
 aggressively to offer our students every opportunity to succeed," said
 Board President Garcia. "The launch of 'My Future, My Decision' is an
 important next step towards reaching a 100% graduation rate."
     "The 'My Future, My Decision' campaign underscores our deep commitment
 to reducing LAUSD's dropout numbers every year, including a 5 percent
 reduction this current school year," said David L. Brewer III, LAUSD
 Superintendent. "We are working aggressively to reduce our dropout rate
 through better data, new dropout prevention counselors and expanded
 alternative education programs. By tapping into students' peer networks and
 enlisting widespread community support we are redoubling our efforts to
 ensure that every student graduates college-prepared and career-ready."
     "My Future, My Decision" is based on research that found a strong sense
 of personal accountability and self-empowerment among targeted students.
 The new campaign will unify the efforts of the Dropout Prevention and
 Recovery program into a single, targeted outreach program that addresses
 the needs of potential dropouts and their families, and widely promotes
 LAUSD's resources and alternative education programs. "My Future, My
 Decision" embraces the non-traditional media channels that students utilize
 most for information, including:
      -- A campaign-specific Web site, http://www.MyFutureMyDecision.org, that
         highlights LAUSD's ongoing recovery efforts, provides information and
         resources for students, parents and other stakeholders and featured
         content from recovered students, Diploma Project Advisors (DPAs) and
         administrators.
      -- An online social networking campaign, including directed peer-to-peer
         interaction on MySpace, where recovered students will build a network
         and engage in dialogue with at-risk and dropped out students.  Student
         and DPA testimonials will also be posted on the popular video-sharing
         site, YouTube.
      -- A radio campaign with popular stations Power 106 and V100, featuring
         paid advertising, Web site promotions and message delivery by popular
         on-air DJs to engage at-risk students and direct them to the campaign
         Web site for more information.
      -- Viral text messaging, motivating students directly through their
         mobile phones.  Students who send a text message with the word
         "FUTURE" to 30364 will receive instant information about the value of
         a diploma and how to learn more at the campaign Web site.
     A signature element of LAUSD's program is the placement of 80 DPAs and
 more than 300 Pupil Service and Attendance Counselors at schools with high
 dropout rates and/or numbers of students at-risk for dropping out. These
 on-the-ground specialists focus specifically on dropout prevention,
 intervention and recovery -- working directly with students, parents,
 teachers, community agencies and school administrators to develop and
 implement individualized educational blueprints to ensure every student has
 the opportunity to earn a high school diploma.
     "I support this effort to bring back our kids," said Board Member
 Vladovic. "We can never do too much to engage them and bring them back to
 school. They deserve nothing less than our full commitment."
     "I always knew having a diploma would help me get the job I want and
 have a better life," said Miguel Garcia, class president of the fifth year
 seniors at Jordan High School. "But I wouldn't have returned to school if
 not for my DPA, Mr. Millender. He worked with me to develop a plan to earn
 all the credits I need, and now I plan to graduate at the end of this
 year."
     Other key elements of LAUSD's Dropout Program include a new
 Parent-Student Resource Guidebook that outlines the many options available
 to help students earn their diploma, including continuation schools, adult
 schools, skill center programs, independent study and online credit
 recovery programs; a new partnership with the Los Angeles Community College
 District to provide community college programs that offer concurrent high
 school and college credit; and an expanded youth employment program in
 conjunction with the City of Los Angeles.
     For more information on LAUSD's Dropout Prevention and Recovery efforts
 and the "My Future, My Decision" campaign, visit
 http://www.MyFutureMyDecision.org.
 
 

SOURCE Los Angeles Unified School District

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