Updated 

CCSD expands program for students at risk of dropping out


A program boasting one of the highest graduation rates among high school students likely to drop out will continue and grow in the Clark County School District next year, due to a unanimous approval from the School Board on Thursday.

Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, is a school-based program introduced in three Clark County schools in 2011-12. It helps struggling students catch up through tutoring and other efforts, also promising career-related jobs to struggling students after they graduate.

It grew to nine schools this year and next year will be in 10 high schools — Basic, Centennial, Durango, Eldorado, Las Vegas, Liberty, Moapa Valley, Silverado, Spring Valley and Sunrise Mountain. The schools were chosen based mostly on their graduation and dropout rates.

The program serves junior and senior high school students who have multiple barriers to graduation, whether it’s excessive absences, low course grades, poor math and reading skills, being homeless or living in poverty.

About 350 students will be served next year, up from 147 in 2011-12, according to district chief student achievement officer Mike Barton.

The program has changed as it has grown. The district originally used district teachers as JAG specialists, then switched to district support staff last year and will be using staff provided by JAG next year.

Rene Cantu, interim executive director of JAG Nevada, said the school-embedded program is in 30 states and achieved a 94 percent graduation rate among participating students in 2011. More than 70 percent of its students were placed in career-related jobs, training or the military, he said.

JAG has some powerful supporters in Nevada, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is vice chairman of the JAG board and has been pushing for expansion into more Nevada high schools.

Contact Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @TrevonMilliard.

 

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