SCUSD alternative programs credited with keeping more students in school

e-Connections Post

Sacramento City Unified School District has the second lowest drop-out rate in the state, according to statistics recently released by the California Department of Education.

SCUSD also had the greatest drop-out rate decline in the region — from 11.5 percent in 2011-12 to 5.9 percent in 2012-13. The dramatic turn-around is being credited, in part, to high schools and programs aimed at providing a safety net to students who fall behind in their coursework.

For example, American Legion High School in Oak Park had 40 graduates in 2009-10. Last year, 116 Legion students earned their diplomas — almost tripling the number of graduates.

“The Alternative Education Program produced over 400 graduates last year,” says Stephan Brown, director of SCUSD’s Student Hearing and Placement Office. “As a district, the most important thing we do is graduate students.”

Alternative programs include American Legion, Capital City Independent Study and Aventa online credit recovery.

SCUSD now has a graduation rate of 85.4 percent — higher than the state average of 80.2 percent. “SCUSD has distinguished itself among large districts in California as a credit recovery leader and a place where students in a credit crises are presented with options that allow them to return to on-track status,” says Brown.