Reengagement in Saint Paul
Implemented in September 2014, St. Paul’s Project Return grew out of the Saint Paul’s Children’s Collaborative unique community partnership whose board includes two County Commissioners, a city council member, the Mayor's Education Director, the Chief of Staff for the Saint Paul School District, the Chair of the School Board, the Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties, agency and community representatives.
Jointly housed at the Ramsey County Attorney’s office and Saint Paul Public Schools, Project Return staff, identify, engage, and re-enroll “15-day drop” students, i.e., those with more than 15 consecutive unexcused absences, and connect them with the support services necessary for school success. At this time, a single full time employee who receives joint supervision from Saint Paul Public Schools and an assistant to the Ramsey County Attorney staffs Project Return.
- Project Return utilizes non-traditional methods of contact and outreach to find and engage students including Facebook, home visits, visiting known student hangouts (Metro Transit, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc.). Additionally, staff speak with librarians and probation officers to locate students.
- Project Returns may dispense small amounts of money to address barriers preventing students from returning to school including clothing, haircuts, transportation, personal care products and supplies.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Project Return Coordinator located and refer 247 fifteen-day dropouts to schools.