Tuesday, August 04, 2009

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


New Hampshire's first virtual high school classroom program in Exeter getting good grades
Foster’s Daily Democrat, Exeter, NH – August 3, 2009
The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, New Hampshire's first online high school, is becoming a force in the state's education system. About 2,000 students are currently signed up for classes. One hundred teachers from all five New England states are on staff. Almost 50 courses are offered. Since its founding in May 2007, the academy has exceeded all expectations, according to education officials.

Calhoun school district makes dropping out difficult
Victoria Advocate, Port Lavaca, TX – August 2, 2009
Students in Calhoun County school district have been celebrating accomplishments ranging from University Interscholastic League academics to athletics. And just before school starts again, the district has another reason to celebrate. Calhoun County was recognized this summer by "Education Week,'' a national magazine, as one of 27 districts in the country that surpassed expected graduation-rate improvements between 1996 and 2006 by 10 points or more.

Conference to put spotlight on dropout rate
The Times, Shreveport, LA – July 30, 2009
In an attempt to make a dent in the school dropout rate, a group of Caddo entities led by Alliance for Education will host a conference next week at Southern University-Shreveport. The Shreveport Dropout Prevention Summit: Parent University will be a forum to discuss the dropout rate, generate solutions and give parents resources to help their children toward high school graduation.

Juvenile Justice

Summer programs pay off
The Gainesville Sun, Alachua County, FL – August 3, 2009
Cuts to this year's Alachua County traditional summer school program and last year's series of teenage troubles, where Gainesville police dealt with a fight near a city pool and rowdy gatherings in store parking lots, didn't bode well for this summer's juvenile crime record. But, unlike rising summer temperatures, arrests of juveniles for the first month of summer didn't increase for Alachua County or the city of Gainesville. The numbers held steady or decreased compared to the two months prior to June, according to reports from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and the Gainesville Police Department.

County introduces program to deter juvenile crime
Sentinel, Middlesex County, NJ – July 30, 2009
Anew county initiative called the "Clean Slate" program will give youngsters suspected of minor crimes a second chance to stay out of trouble, while easing the number of cases going to Family Court. According to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, when youngsters commit crimes such as carrying fake identification cards or damaging someone's property, they face the possibility of getting arrested and convicted as juvenile delinquents. However, some youths will be spared the ordeal of being arrested, charged and then tried by a Family Court judge under a new comprehensive program aimed at deterring first-time juvenile offenders from committing more serious crimes.

Foster Care

MSU summer camp prepares foster kids for college
Chicago Tribune, East Lansing, MI – August 2, 2009
Michigan State University begins its efforts to keep former foster children in college even before they enroll. This Wednesday through Friday, the East Lansing school holds its second-annual summer camp for high school age foster children. The camp focuses on what the students can expect once they get to college. The Michigan State camp is an outgrowth of the university's Foster Care Alumni Services.

The Brighter Side Of DCF
Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT – August 2, 2009
Her mother died when she was just 2. She never knew her father. She was 11 when she first entered the labyrinth of the Department of Children and Families. Sounds like the beginning of a hard luck story, one we've heard too many times. And yet, there sat Tina Thomas one recent afternoon, surrounded by adults who all had the same open-mouthed reaction to how masterfully the 18-year-old worked a system that manages to break so many others. If there was an educational program offered by DCF, Thomas was all over it. Youth leadership seminars — she was there. Job readiness programs — that's how she landed the law office internship she has now. Financial literacy workshops — no question, count her in. In fact, that's why I'd initially gone to the DCF office on Hamilton Street, to talk to her about a matched savings account program offered by the Jim Casey Foundation for youths in foster care.

State Leaders Taking Steps to Make Sure Foster Children Get Education
WMBB News Channel 13, Tallahassee, FL – July 30, 2009
State government leaders are taking action to try to make sure children in Florida’s foster care system are getting the stability and assistance they need to succeed in school. The leaders of five state agencies signed an agreement Thursday to work together on that mission. State leaders say too many children lose stability when they enter the foster care system and that makes it tough for them to do well in school. Children are often shuffled from home to home and are forced to change schools.

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