New Report Looks At NM Student Drop-Out Numbers

CISNM News:

Communities In Schools of New Mexico (CISNM) announces in a new report released today that there has been continued improvement and growth in graduation rates in New Mexico schools.

Communities In Schools of New Mexico is part of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization and states that today’s report demonstrates the program’s impact on dropout rates, highlighted by local success stories, as well as data regarding the program’s recent expansion to provide additional services to students in the region. More than 4,000 students are now receiving support to address poverty, hunger, homelessness and other issues that Interfere with school, according to the report.

“The depth and breadth of emotional trauma that a growing number of kids have to endure – brought about by poverty – impedes their capacity to thrive in school and in life,” CISNM State Director Julia Bergen states in the the report Unlocking the Full Potential of Students in New Mexico. “Until communities begin to seriously address these challenges, our young people will continue to struggle.”

Every 26 seconds, a young person in America drops out of school, according to the report. When students drop out, they are more likely to remain in poverty, suffer poor health, be dependent on social services, enter the criminal justice system and cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year in lost revenue and increased spending on government assistance programs. To change the picture in New Mexico, Communities In Schools, now in its third year of operation, is serving approximately 4,600 students in 10 schools.

According to the new report, CISNM achieved the following during the 2013-14 school year:

  • Two elementary schools, four middle schools and one high school were served.
  • 3,765 students received integrated student supports from Communities In Schools of New Mexico; 3,765 students received Level One, or school-wide prevention, services and 320 students received Level Two, targeted and sustained interventions.
  • 95 percent of the students in grades K-11 who received targeted and sustained services (and for whom data were available) were promoted to the next grade.
  • 56 percent of the students in grades K-12 who received targeted and sustained services with an attendance goal met their goal. For some students, the goal was to increase the number of days they attended and for others it was to maintain their attendance levels.
  • 78 percent of the students in grades K-12 who received targeted and sustained services with an academic performance goal met their goal. These goals, which are tailored to each student, include improving class grades, overall GPA, standardized test scores, or homework completion.
  • 93 percent of the students in grades K-12 who received targeted and sustained services with a behavioral goal met their goal and decreased their suspensions. Overall, 44.3 percent of these students were suspension-free while participating in CIS.

In order to meet increasing demands, CISNM is expanding in the 2014-2015 school year to serve:

  • Three new schools; and
  • Nine hundred additional students.

The report also features interviews with: Shawna Jones, Communities In Schools Site Coordinator at El Camino Real Academy, who does everything she can to help students succeed; and Miguel Lujan, a 10-year-old 5th grader at Cesar Chavez Elementary School whose grades were all D’s and F’s until he started working with his Communities In Schools Site Coordinator. Now he’s getting mostly A’s and B’s and has aspirations to go to UNM. “Miguel has really turned things around – not only in his grades, but in his confidence, too,” said his Site Coordinator, Hilda Perez-Vargas. “Now he knows he can do the work.”

Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools of New Mexico is part of the national Communities In Schools’ network, which operates in more than 2,200 schools in the most challenged communities of 26 states and the District of Columbia. Working closely with school districts and partner organizations, Communities In Schools serves 1.3 million young people and their families each year. Based directly inside schools throughout the country, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs. Learn more about Communities In Schools of New Mexico at cisnm.org.

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