Katy ISD's Dropout Prevention Named Top in Nation


KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

September 21, 2019

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy ISD's Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Coordination Program has been designated as one of TEA's Best Practices in Texas earning it the Clemson University's National Dropout Prevention Certification of Top in the Nation.

Top In The Nation

Katy ISD's Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Coordination Program has been recognized for its practices and rate of success. The program was designated as one of TEA's Best Practices in Texas and earned the Clemson University's National Dropout Prevention Certification of Top in the Nation. “The uniqueness of Katy ISD’s Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Program is its centralized, systematic, personalized, one-on-one, case management approach and follow up process," says program coordinators Joan Arasteh and Gaby Pulido.



No Limit

The program has no limits which means the district will help however many students who need assistance. Each student’s program is personalized and reviewed by district-level coordinators and campus-assigned facilitators serving all of the Katy high schools. Appropriate staff are brought in as needed as each student's need is reviewed individually.

A Personalized Program

The strategies and interventions for students served are data driven but still personalized. The advocacy and involvement are based upon the type of referral and request.

"Our goal is to increase graduates and reduce dropouts,” say Arasteh and Pulido.

Lowest Dropout Rate

According to the Intercultural Development Research Association, Texas high schools lost 94,767 students in 2017-18. Black students and Hispanic students are about two times more likely to leave school without graduating with a diploma than white students.

Katy ISD has one of the lowest dropout rates in the Nation.

"We realize and stay true to our role, our processes, our protocols," say Arasteh and Pulido. "We are not in place of any campus staff members. We are in addition to those staff members. Collaboration is key. Our process then becomes apparent to any current or new staff member, that our monitoring, follow up, and documentation of service/dropout recovery will be consistent over time and personnel change. This program strives to develop encouraging relationships with students so that students move from an “I can’t” mentality to “I can and will” commitment.”

A Servant's Heart

Katy ISD's Dropout Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Coordination Program is made up of two coordinators and four facilitators.

"We never think, 'Oh, why did they call us?' Instead – we say, 'Why didn’t they call us?' We ask ourselves, 'What advice would we want someone to give our own family, if in a similar personal or academic situation?'” say Arasteh and Pulido.

Three team members have social work backgrounds and experience. Two were former educators. One was a liaison for a pilot program serving high schools, truancy and probation.

"We are passionate and authentic about our purpose and our performance as student advocates,” say Arasteh and Pulido.

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