100 percent in, 100 percent out. That has been the mission statement of Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper's Turnaround Plan from day one. So how exactly do administrators, faculty and teachers plan to achieve this lofty goal? The answer is not so simple. So far this year, the Opportunity School, special task force committees and Northside High School have been major talking points, but there is another program that will interest parents and students: No Dropouts.
No Dropouts is the name of a business operating throughout the state that may bring their services to Lafayette Parish Schools in the near future. Doug Bonner says the program uses "accountability, support and flexibility" to help non-traditional students graduate outside of the classroom. The program seeks dropouts from the parish and it's up to the school system whether or not they can enroll in No Dropouts. Once enrolled, the students receive individualized education that fits the needs of their lifestyle. If the dropout is currently working, he/she can learn on the computer before or after their shift. The student is partnered with an online tutor and a mentor in the community to meet with once a week. They also receive a computer with 3G internet access.
What makes the program so important is that there is no additional cost to the school system. When a student drops out of school, the state takes back the MFP (minimum funding program) dollars for that student. If they re-enroll, the state will then grant that money to the school districts. Fort a percentage of the MFP dollars, No Dropouts will actively recruit dropouts in the community and use an individualized learning model to help them be successful and hopefully earn their diploma. The school system only has to pay if the student makes progress, therefore, eliminating any risk to the district.
In the four years the program has been in existence they have seen success. They have been in the Bayou State for a year and are operating in ten school districts. For more information you can visit their website www.nodropouts.com