- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new federal pilot program in Baton Rouge will enable officials to provide extra services, support and career coaching to a group of students at two alternative schools in an effort to boost academic performance and graduation rates.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1P7gmlU) the federal interagency Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth will give Baton Rouge-area governmental agencies greater flexibility in how they use federal dollars from a number of sources in order to design the pilot program.

Researchers will track the progress of the roughly 80 to 100 students throughout the three-year pilot program, comparing their performance on a number of measures with that of other students, to determine if the initiative boosts educational achievement.

Officials involved in the program hope the pilot program, which will begin in January with students at Greenville and Northdale superintendent’s academies, eventually will provide a model for how to more effectively use federal funds to support at-risk students. Those two schools serve students who are at least two grade levels behind their peers.

“I really believe this has the capacity to really change lives,” said Judith Rhodes, assistant professor of research at LSU’s Office of Social Service Research and Development, which is helping coordinate the program.

The P3 program will bring in a college and career coach, who will meet with students, parents and teachers to develop an individualized “success plan” for each student, Rhodes said, and provide each student with guidance into a future career path.

An advisory committee composed of the participating agencies - the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, Baton Rouge Community College and LSU, as well as officials with the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Juvenile Services and Employ BR - will oversee the program, along with a full-time project manager, said Adonica Pelichet Duggan, a spokeswoman for the school system.

Each of those agencies gained leeway in how they use existing funding from the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Labor. For example, Baton Rouge Community College will be able to work with middle school students under an existing federal grant that normally serves only high schoolers, Rhodes said.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com



Click to Read More

Click to Hide