New Diplomas Now Schools in Jacksonville Busy with
Banking, Bucks and Report Cards
Diplomas Now schools in Jacksonville, Fla., last
month held their second-quarter report card conferences. School
district representatives and about 15 to 20 adults from the local
community met with almost 200 students to reflect on their
academic progress and set goals for the future. Students received
certificates the day of the conferences and were to be recognized
at an assembly to celebrate their successes.
Diplomas Now also opened a bank and store at Andrew
Jackson Senior High. Students receive "DN bucks" from
teachers for improving in attendance, behavior and course
performance or for doing good deeds. Students can use their DN
bucks to "buy" snacks, school supplies, clothing and
other store items. They can also save their DN bucks in tracked
"bank accounts" to use on future purchases from the
school store. The bank and store teach basic banking skills while
providing fun, engaging rewards to students.
Take the Get Schooled Challenge: Attend School and
Diplomas Now will launch an attendance challenge
next month in partnership with Get Schooled,
a national nonprofit, designed to increase school attendance.
During this friendly competition, which will take place from
March 3 through May 2, students will participate in weekly online
activities to help develop academic and college readiness skills.
The contest will award weekly prizes and incentives; the school
that wins the challenge will get a celebrity principal for the
day! Past Get Schooled celebrity principals have included
Kendrick Lamar, Diggy Simmons, Bella Thorne, James Harden, Ne-Yo
and Rocsi Diaz. Diplomas Now schools Aki Kurose Middle School in
Seattle was the national winner in 2011 and Browne Education
Campus in Washington, D.C., was a divisional winner in 2012.
Miami Edison Middle School was the regional winner for the winter
Attendance Highs: Aki Kurose Middle School in
Seattle Hits 97%!
Hats off to Aki Kurose Middle in Seattle for
persistence in dramatically improving school attendance. In just
four years of a partnership with Diplomas Now, Aki Kurose has
moved the needle on attendance, jumping from an average
attendance rate of 89.4 percent during the 2010-2011 school year
to 97.4 percent this school year through December 2013. At the
same time, the number of students going to school has increased
at Aki Kurose: in 2010-2011, the school had 574 students; this
year, 738 students attend.
Improved Report Cards:
Miami's Diplomas Now High Schools Boost State Grades
Three Diplomas Now high schools
in Miami showed steady improvement on state-issued "report
cards" since 2009-2010. Carol City High School, for example,
got a D in 2010 but last year got a B. The state gave Booker T.
Washington an F in 2010 but last year the school pulled that up
to a C. The school was just 10 points shy of an A but also was
docked a letter grade because the school, which has a large
percentage of English language learners, didn't meet the
25-percent proficient in reading standard on the state
standardized test. Homestead High School missed a B by one point,
up dramatically from the D in 2010. Florida grades its high
schools based on student performance on standardized tests,
graduation rates, participation in Advanced Placement classes and
other factors. The state awards extra funding to schools that
achieve an A or demonstrate exemplary improvement by improving
their grades by at least one letter grade.
Big Community Service Project
at Newtown High School for MLK Day of Service
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
City Year New York and Communities In Schools New York joined
hundreds of students, community volunteers and corporate sponsors
at Newtown High School for the Annual MLK Day of Service. It was
a school beautification day during which participants revitalized
classrooms and painted murals.
Tulsa Area United Way Honors
the Growing Together Collaborative
The Tulsa Area United Way gave
the "Outstanding Community Collaborative" award to the
Growing Together Collaborative in Tulsa at its annual luncheon on
Growing Together is a community
partnership supported by the Community Action Project of Tulsa
County designed to bring organizations and residents together to
find solutions that provide safe, supportive neighborhoods and
schools. City Year, Talent Development Secondary and College
Summit are part of the collaborative. In addition, Communities In
Schools also is beginning to work in some of the Tulsa schools
with City Year and Talent Development, notably Clinton Middle and
Andrew Webster High School. Tulsa's Newson6.com recently featured
report card conferences at both schools. Read the story here.
Showcasing Diplomas Now to
Dr. Richard Ross, Ohio's state superintendent of
public instruction, recently visited South High School, one of
the Diplomas Now schools in Columbus. He met with staffers and
learned more about the model during his visit.
Diplomas Now in the News!
Bob Balfanz and PepsiCo's Cynthia Trudell write
about how the business community needs to partner with schools to
help students develop job skills in this Crain's Chicago
Bob Balfanz writes about the important role mentors
play in getting kids to school in this Huffington Post