We are committed to accomplishing one main goal: decreasing the number of students who drop out of school before graduation.
We assist students in realizing their potential!
Our Services to Help You Realize Your Potential
Five students re-enroll on the first day of the September 2019 Steps-to-Success walk!
Each high school in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) has or shares a Dropout Prevention Specialist. Having site-based Dropout Prevention Specialists affords us the opportunity to better understand the dynamics of the students and families we work with and therefore tailor a program to best meet those specific needs. These specialists are an integral part of the dropout program.
Middle and K-8 schools, with few exceptions, receive support services from Dropout Prevention on an as needed basis. An on-line request for services form provides easy access for principals to contact us. At the middle school level, not only is Dropout Prevention striving to keep students in school but also helping students to be ready for the next step: high school.
Dropout Prevention Programs
Our main focus areas include Prevention, Intervention, Recovery and Resiliency.
Prevention – Anticipation and recognition of students’ needs to empower them to be successful learners
Intervention – Adaptations to traditional practices which ensure students continue their education
Recovery – Returning students to academic environments that are supportive to their needs
Resiliency – The capacity to spring back, rebound and successfully adapt in the face of adversity
A student’s perception of their educational environment influences positive decision making. Dropout Prevention Specialists attempt to build relationships with students and their families using VIA – from the Spanish word meaning “the path” or “the way”.
Visibility – Using passing periods, lunch and school sponsored events to be visible to students
Interaction – Developing a rapport with teachers, parents, support staff and especially the students
Accountability – Keeping your word; following through; never making unrealistic promises to students
Step By Step
Step By Step is a program developed to facilitate eighth grade students transition into high school. The program began in 2008 and morphed into an interactive presentation addressing three main components:
Staying in school through graduation
How credits are tied to grades and attendance
A peek into the future
Eighth grade students have the opportunity to meet the Dropout Prevention Specialist from their soon to be high school, giving them that “one caring adult” prior to enrollment.
Professional Development Opportunities
The Dropout Prevention Staff offers six professional development options for schools to choose from. Topics include:
Hidden Language Rules: Teaches adults to recognize when students do not have the proper language skills to communicate their needs and how to help students gain the tools required to communicate in a professional setting
Bridging the Gap: Demonstrates how to identify students dealing with life struggles and how to provide support by empowering not enabling students.
Against School: Takes a proactive look at schools today, challenging the institutional atmosphere we expect students to flourish in on an academic and social level.
WELCOME: A “Feng shei” for schools. WELCOME is based on the Inviting School Success series by Purkey and Novak and looks at uninviting behaviors and how by making simple environmental and social changes, schools become more welcoming to students and their families.
What is Dropout Prevention? An in depth look at TUSD’s Dropout Prevention Program. Each session is tailor-made for the requesting site and includes effective dropout prevention strategies, explores the reasons why students leave school, at what age they “check-out” and site-specific data.
Intercultural Proficiency: Overview of how the culture of each student affects what the student perceives. Looks at the natural formation of sub-cultures and their role in the make-up of each school's personality.