Okolona Separate Municipal Schools
411 West Main Street
P.O. Box 510
Okolona, MS 38860
Mr. Dexter Green, Superintendent
Purpose of the Dropout Prevention Plan
The Okolona School District has developed a comprehensive Dropout Prevention Plan to address district and community concerns for students at-risk of dropping out of school. The plan is inclusive of data, goals, objectives, initiatives, programs, projects, and procedures. The plan is intended to serve as a resource guide not only for the district but also for the community. Further the drop-out prevention plan seeks for all students to be College and Career Ready, according to the design principles of: personalization, ready for college or career, powerful teaching and learning, redesigned professionalism, purposeful design and leadership.
Identifying At-Risk Students
The Okolona School District uses the following key indicators to identify students most at-risk of dropping out or most “in danger” of failing to achieve acceptable levels of academic achievement.
- Not on grade level (two or more grades behind their peers)
- High absenteeism
- Repeated office referrals, suspensions, or expulsions
- Poor grades/performance in core subjects
- Free lunch
- Homeless or migrant English Language Learners
- English Language Learners
Goals and Objectives
The Okolona School District’s dropout prevention plan is inclusive of objectives, strategic initiatives, and projects and activities required the three overarching goals for the state’s dropout prevention plan: (1) Increasing the state graduation rate to 85% by 2018-2019; (2) reducing the state dropout rate to 13% by 2015; and reducing the truancy rate by 50% by 2015. The following district objectives will be carried out to achieve the goals of this plan:
- Provide opportunities for all students to experience academic success at all grade levels
- Improve early identification of students at-risk of dropping out
- Reduce risk factors associated with dropping out of school
- Strengthen the Home-School-Community Partnership
PART I- District Schools
2014-2015 Cover Sheet
Okolona Public Schools Mr. Dexter Green, Superintendent
|Okolona Elementary||K-4||Ms. Murray|
|Okolona High School||5-12||Dr. Hill|
|Okolona Vocational Complex||9-12||Mrs. Anderson|
|District Contact: Christopher Hill, Ph.D.., Principal, OHS404 Dr. Howard-Gunn St.
Okolona MS, 38860
Phone: 662-447-2362 (Ext 3001)
District Team Members
|Name /Agency Title||Position/Agency Title|
|Dr. Christopher HillPrincipal, OHS||School Administrator|
|John Tacker,Asst. Principal, OHS||School Administrator|
|Jacqueline Brown, Technology InstructorTeacher||Teacher|
|Dorothy BuchananRead 180 Teacher||Read 180 teacher/Study Island Facilitator|
|John StanfieldCommunity Representative||Community Representative|
|Nikki Fields||Parent Representative|
** Signatures attached in appendix of plan (Included at end of plan).
Statement of Assurances
On behalf of the Okolona School District, I hereby submit a local Dropout Prevention Plan to provide goals, activities and services necessary to meet the three overarching goals of the state dropout prevention plan: 1) Increasing the state graduation rate to 85% by 2018-2019; 2) reduce the state dropout rate to 13% by 2015; and 3) reducing the truancy rate by 50%.
I hereby certify that the information contained in this plan is in compliance with the appropriate federal and state laws and regulations.
I hereby certify that our school district will cooperate in carrying out any evaluation conducted by or for the Mississippi Department of Education.
I hereby certify that our school district will submit reports as requested by the Mississippi Department of Education.
I hereby certify that our school district has consulted with parents, community partners, business partners, teachers, school staff, building administrators, and others in the development of this local dropout prevention plan.
I hereby certify that our school district has taken into account relevant, scientifically based research, strategies and best practices indicating services most effective in preventing dropouts if we focused on students in the earliest grades.
I hereby certify that our school district will endorse and implement the Fifteen (15) Effective Strategies to promote a reduction in the dropout rate.
I hereby certify that our school district has based the dropout prevention plan on scientifically based research, best practices and all laws in determining strategies to reduce the dropout rate for students with disabilities under IDEA.
I hereby certify that our school district will evaluate our district dropout prevention plan on an annual basis to determine appropriate changes needed for future school years.
I hereby certify that our District School Board has reviewed and approved this plan for submission to the Mississippi Department of Education.
Dropout Prevention Team Leader:
Name: Christopher Hill, Ph.D. Title: Principal
Mailing Address: 404 Dr. Howard Gunn St. Okolona MS 38860
Telephone #: 662-447-2362 (Ext 3001)
District Superintendent: (Signature) __________________________________
School Board Chair: (Signature) __________________________________
District Needs Assessment
|Needs Assessment Areas||Descriptions|
|Target Group Identified||Educationally at-risk· Not on grade level (two or more grades behind)
· High absenteeism
· Repeated office referrals, suspensions, or expulsions
· Poor grades/performance in core subjects
· Free lunch
· Homeless or migrant
· English Language Learners
|Data Collection Methods Used||The Dropout Prevention Review Committee looked at the following data points:1. Graduation and Dropout data for 2013-2014 cohort & 2014-2015 (district and school levels)
2. Comparison of dropout data with surrounding and- like districts
3. OSMSD Three-year Trends in graduation and dropout rates (Appendix A)
4. Other district data: discipline referrals, absenteeism, and number of students two or more years behind, etc.
5. NDPC Fifteen Effective Strategies for impacting dropout prevention
6. District initiatives for reducing risk factors for student dropout
7. District goals and objectives for reducing risk factors for student dropout
8. Design Principles of Restructuring (Ready for College and Career, Powerful Teaching and Learning, Personalization, Redesigned Professionalism, Leadership, Purposeful Design
|Prioritized List of Needs||1. Students behind academically2. Students in grades 5-7 who are two or more grades behind
3. Students district-wide who have excessive absenteeism
4. Students with repeated office referrals
5. Students with limited English proficiency
|Short Term Goals||1. Increase academic performance of students2. Improve ADA and decrease excessive absenteeism for at-risk students
3. Reduce discipline referrals
4. Decrease number/percentage of students two or more years behind.
|Long Term Goals||To increase graduation rateTo prevent students from dropping out of school|
|Recommendations for future needs assessments||Recommendations for future needs assessments:-Each year the district will reassess goals and prioritize needs based on the following data related to student dropout: (For specific information, please refer to data and information stated under Short Term Goals.)
• Early detection of potential dropouts and at-risk students in grades 1-8.
• Review diagnostic tests and standardized state data to detect students struggling in reading/language arts and math.
• Provide training and information to staff and parents on issues directly related to student dropout.
• Keep watch on students in grades 5-7 who are two or more grades behind.
• Identify students struggling in reading and math early and provide interventions.
• Identify students in grades 3-8 who fail the MCT.
• Identify students in grades 9-12 who fail a subject area test.
• Identify students who have excessive absenteeism.
Okolona School District
Initiatives & Support Services
To Address/Reduce Risk Factors for Student Dropout
Dropout Prevention Plan
|Objectives||Strategic Initiatives/Action||Implementation Process|
|(1) Provide opportunities for all students to experience academic success at all grade levels.
Design Principles in Action (where we are):
Powerful Teaching and Learning,
|Implement high quality Tier 1 instruction for all students at all grade levelsProfessional.
Growing Innovation: teachers receive PD related to teaching, learning, and research, asked to employ in classrooms for benefit of students. Teachers know when and how to use technology to reinforce learning. All teachers facilitate students’ reading, writing, and thinking and talking daily to develop understanding of core academic concepts.
Growing Innovation: Program is flexible and responsive to student and staff needs. Technology is sufficient, principal and staff meets regularly to make adjustments to the program in leadership team meetings.
|Professional Development:District and Federal PD funds are used to train teachers on curriculum trends that will better prepare them to meet student needs, develop effective, innovative teaching strategies that increase student achievement, enhance teacher performance, and help increase the graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate.
Interventionist Math & English/ TST Co-chair (2016-2017):
The Interventionist specialists work with students in the Three Tier Process, particularly those students in Tier 3. The specialists keep records of progress monitoring and help teachers write and implement interventions designed to help individual students (Appendix C).
Read 180: Read 180 is a computer-based program used in the middle schools with struggling students who perform in the bottom quartile on the MCT2 reading assessment.
New Teacher Mentoring: Okolona provides mentoring for beginning teachers and teachers new to the district. The goal is to build strong teacher capacity and improve student performance.
Credit Recovery: offers an online, core intervention program for students in need of credit for core instruction or for credit recovery. Check Appendix for Specifics regarding Credit Recovery.
|(2). Improve early identification of students at-risk of dropping out
Design Principles in Action (where we are):
|Maintain a data system that tracks students’ grades, progress, attendance, and behavior.
Growing innovation: Academic support programs are in place during the summer, during school year, after school and on Saturdays. All teachers meet weekly by grade level or subject area to discuss needs. The school sends home a monthly newsletter as well as the superintendent. In addition, the school has purchased School Status, which is a program which uploads and compiles data from MSIS and organizes it into charts and graphs. The leadership team is able to access discipline incidents, ADA, and evaluation information efficiently and effectively.
|MSIS: MSIS is the district-wide information system used to report and tract student attendance, grades, and discipline records.
Star Reading and Star Math– is used for students in K-10 to access performance in reading and math and provide data to help inform instruction.
Case 21 & Benchmark Assessments provide information on students’ progress toward mastery of MS Framework objectives.
Academic Options Center (AOC): The AOC is a second chance program for students K-12. Students are referred to the AOC because of serious or continued behavior infractions in their home school settings. The program is a disciplinary placement for students who need a smaller, more structured alternative. AOC allows students who need the alternate setting an opportunity to experience success while learning some needed replacement behaviors, including the ability to follow guidelines and rules at school, at work, and in social settings.
|(3.) Reduce risk factors associated with dropping out of school.
Design Principles in Action (where we are):
Ready for College & Career
|Provide appropriate innovations and program options leading to high school exit.
Provide a system of immediate support for students in danger of failing.
Develop individualized plans for students entering ninth grade (leaving 8th Grade ICAP) to keep them on track for graduation.
Provide support programs for students two or more grades behind.
Provide support programs for secondary students to recover course credit.
Early Steps: Students have many opportunities and supports district wide: GED, Peer Helpers, MOD, certificate, etc. However we have a limited amount of student’s enrolled in and taking advanced college classes with transferrable credit. We do There is room for improvement in this area. Visits are made to college campuses, periodically throughout school year, planning to schedule more. College goal Sunday held annually to help students talk with, and discuss options concerning: financial aid
Growing innovation: Staff members are working together to make decisions. Leadership Team meets bi-monthly to review data and make decisions collectively. Conversations are regularly held regarding standards, instructional standards, non-negotiable, and all parties are held dually responsible. School members do meet weekly in PLC (Professional Learning Communities) to discuss teaching strategies and techniques.
Early Steps: Staff members are knowledgeable of school improvement efforts. Peer observations are conducted regularly, PLC’s are a regular part of the professional culture, and huge mandates to equip, empower, and enable teachers to be effective. Committee assists with the recruitment and selection process to ire key personnel. All staff do work together to advance the mission and vison of the school.
|A. Provide appropriate innovations and program options leading to high school exit:
· Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit allows high school students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit that will apply toward both secondary and postsecondary studies.
· Okolona Career & Technical Center: OCTC is a first rate career technical center that provides a platform for career exploration for some students who need and desire a less traditional path of study as incentive to stay in school.
· Mississippi Occupational Diploma (MOD) offers a graduation option for high school students with disabilities.
ICAP- Develop Individual Career Assessment Plan for all 8th graders. Students develop and follow a career module, giving them direction in guidance and choosing a career path, graduation pathway, and guiding them in the area of course selection.
· Credit Recovery: offers an online, core intervention program for students in need of credit for core instruction or for credit recovery. Check Appendix for Specifics regarding Credit Recovery.
|B. Provide a system of immediate support for students in danger of failing
· Response to Intervention (RTI) identifies students at risk for failure, develops and implements interventions, and monitors students’ progress.
· Intervention/ TST Specialists will work with struggling (Tier 3) students in reading and math. LSs also assist classroom teachers with writing and implementing appropriate interventions for
· Homeless Services identify homeless students and provide service and follow-up through the district homeless liaison, in conjunction with outside agencies.
· We Care Team: Guidance counselor, school nurse, administrator, and teachers meet on a scheduled basis to identify students who are struggling with academics, behavior, and attendance. Interventions are put in place to address concerns.
C. Provide support programs for students two or more years behind their peers:
Counseling Program: Okolona Schools has counselors proportionate to the school enrollment (See Part IV District Data Form). Counselors provide individual and group counseling in the elementary schools. Counselors assist in developing discipline plans for students who have multiple office referrals, arranging parent-teacher conferences, and developing and tracking student’s progress toward graduation at the high school.
|D. Provide support programs for secondary students to recover course credit.· E20/20, Edmunton, and Odessey Ware, offers an online, core intervention program for students in need of credit for core instruction or for credit recovery. It offers the added flexibility of allowing students to complete course work anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
· District will seek to purchase, implement, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of such programs during the 2015-2016 school year.
|(4.))Strengthen the Home-School-Community Partnership||Provide opportunities for school, home, and community to collaborate, share information, and discuss solutions to improve performance, increase graduation rates, and decrease dropout rate.||Active Parents: Active Parent Online allows parents in the Okolona School District to review their children’s progress weekly. After parents register online, they are given a secure record of a user name and password.
Automatic Phone Dialer: (AIMS) All schools have the capability of sending out all-call messages to parents about important events going on in the school. The district also has the same capability of sending out all-call messages to employees and parents of all students in the district. Parents are called regularly regarding school announcements, student tardiness, absence, behavior problems, academic successes, etc.
PTO/PTA provides an avenue for parents to get involved with the school experience.
District Dropout Prevention Team monitors the implementation of the district’s dropout prevention plan.
Partners in Education: Local businesses and industries throughout the school communities adopt a school and work with school officials and parent groups to help address needs of the school. The relationship strengthens businesses and helps to bridge the gap between schools and communities. This may be inclusive of after-school jobs, opportunities for students to shadow someone in the workplace, donations to support programs or projects, or to help provide other experiences for some students who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
Region 3 (Life core)Mental Health Services works with the Okolona School District and provides mental health, behavior modification and rehabilitation services to students and families in the district.
School Safety Officers/Local Police: The school and local police agency work collaboratively together. The police regularly visit and are visible within the school and they conduct training and walkthroughs of the school periodically.
Appendices outline how each of the district’s initiatives addresses the 15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention as defined by the National Center for Dropout Prevention (NCDP).
|Appendix A||Signature Page- Dropout Prevention Team||18|
|Appendix B||Cumulative District Performance Data||19-21|
|Appendix C||Drop Out Prevention Policy||22-24|
|Appendix D||15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention as defined by the National Center for Dropout Prevention (NCDP).||25-31|
|Appendix E||Chart Graduation Trends|