January 31 Webinar to Highlight Dropout Recovery Role of Local Reengagement Centers

by Michael Karpman

On Tuesday, January 31, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) will host a free, hour-long webinar on Reengagement Centers: Key Element in a City Strategy to Recover Dropouts. Municipal leaders, senior city staff and community partners are invited to register for this webinar at www.nlc.org/iyef.

Cities such as Boston, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., Omaha, Neb., and Des Moines, Iowa, have established one-stop "reengagement centers" to connect struggling high school students - including those who have already dropped out - with credit recovery, tutoring, child care and other services that help them reenroll and graduate from high school or complete an alternative education program leading to a diploma or GED.

The development of a reengagement center can support a broader municipal agenda to increase high school graduation rates and ensure that every student is prepared for college and a career. Speakers will include:

  • Kathy Hamilton, Boston Private Industry Council; 
  • Gail Forbes-Harris, Boston Public Schools;
  • Justin Green, Philadelphia Youth Network;
  • Ken Karamichael, Rutgers University/Newark, N.J., YE2S Center; and
  • Greg Emmel and Carolyn Miller, Directions Diploma (D2) Center, Omaha, Neb.

City officials are invited to participate in an interactive discussion with these local leaders, who have each contributed to the establishment of reengagement centers in their cities.

The call is part of the YEF Institute's monthly webinar series, which in 2012 will focus on creative partnerships to improve outcomes for children and families - a key focus of the YEF Council under the leadership of its 2012 co-chairs, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Councilmember-at-Large Ronnie Steine.

Reengagement centers rely on cross-sector partnerships to provide a range of services that help students get back on track. For instance, the Boston Public Schools Reengagement Center benefits from collaboration with multiple city departments, the Boston Private Industry Council, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority and numerous other partners. Since the fall of 2009, the Center has been serving students who have already dropped out under the motto, "We care too much to let you go."

Newark's Youth Education and Employment Success Center (YE2S) has reenrolled 3,500 students since 2008 through a collaboration among the City of Newark, Newark Public Schools, Rutgers University, the Nicholson Foundation and others. In Philadelphia, two city departments and the school district operate the local reengagement center.

Details: To register, visit www.nlc.org/iyef. If you have any questions about registering, YEF Institute staff are standing by to help. Please contact Michael Karpman at (202) 626-3072 or karpman@nlc.org or Tim Mudd at (202) 626-3074 or mudd@nlc.org and they will walk you through the registration process step by step.