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Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Video and Audio Highlights from the 2009 Student Services Symposium: Supporting Students to Success!

On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Education sponsored a one-day symposium entitled, "Supporting Students to Success". This was the fourth annual event to support Pennsylvania’s schools in the development of effective strategies to help students reach their educational and career goals.

The 2009 symposium focused on components integral to a resiliency approach that enable each student to grow into an inspired, productive, fulfilled life-long learner.

The keynote speaker was Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., Executive Director and Professor, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education of the Steinhardt Schools of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University in New York, NY. Dr. Noguera, a prolific writer and champion for issues relating to closing the achievement gap and ensuring equity and excellence for all students, provided “New Directions for American Education” which highlighted new approaches to educating children and managing schools and districts to bring about the necessary educational outcomes that our nation so desperately needs.

Click here to view the highlights of this event.


Toolkit on Student Attendance and Truancy Reduction

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released a new resource – the Pennsylvania Toolkit on Student Attendance and Truancy Reduction. This web-based resource can be found at The toolkit contains: a new Basic Education Circular (BEC) on the subject of truancy, best practices in truancy reduction, sample letters and brochures, job descriptions for truancy officers in school systems, examples of truancy reduction technology and student attendance systems, and quick reference materials that can be used by anyone interested in addressing truancy, including magisterial district judges, schools, community-based organizations, and parents. Specific guidelines are provided that focus attention on truancy reduction at the earliest level in an attempt to curb absenteeism from the start of every child’s education.


Effective Volunteer Recruitment for Mentoring Programs

The Center for Schools and Communities, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, offered a one-hour live online session entitled, "Effective Volunteer Recruitment for Mentoring Programs." The session was presented by Craig A. Bowman, Common Ground Consulting LLC™. Mr. Bowman provided information about volunteer recruitment strategies which can be used by mentoring programs to secure a greater number and diversity of volunteers to serve children and youth at risk.

To view the recording of this online session and to view the slides/handouts, go to the Professional Development page.


Education Mentoring Grantee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lancaster County, PA, Inc. Receives Federal School-Based Mentoring Grant

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools recently announced its FY 2007 Mentoring Program Grant Awards.  Four grants were awarded in Pennsylvania, including $122,000 awarded to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lancaster County each year for three years to expand the school-based mentoring program partnering Franklin and Marshall College and Reynolds Middle School made possible initially by an Education Mentoring grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  The agency plans to expand this school-based model to Carter and MacRae and James Buchanan Elementary Schools, as well as Phoenix Academy Alternative School.  These grants are awarded to local educational agencies, nonprofit community-based organizations, and partnerships between the two, to promote school-based mentoring programs.  The goal of this grant award program is to serve children with the greatest need in grades 4 through 8 that reside in rural or high crime areas or troubled environments, or who attend schools with violence problems; goals also include a reduction in juvenile delinquency and involvement in gangs.  For further information about the awards and a list of the FY 2007 grantees, visit entoring/184b07awards.pdf.


New Resources

"Diplomas Count: Ready for What?  Preparing Students for College, Careers, and Life After High School," released June 12, 2007, states that "today's high school graduates are entering a world in which they'll need at least some college to gain access to decent-paying careers."  The report draws on two national databases to examine the distribution of jobs nationally and within each state, as well as the related education and pay levels.  For more information, go to:  

In conjunction with Communities in Schools, Inc., the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network published "Dropout Risk Factors and Exemplary Programs: A Technical Report" in May 2007.  This extensive report, which included a literature review of 44 different studies related to school dropout, examines the key risk factors for school dropout and also provides information from exemplary programs and best practices.  The report can be found at:



Center for Schools and Communities presents at 2006 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

Center for Schools and Communities Education Mentoring/Dropout Prevention Coordinator Lynda Long along with Pennsylvania Department of Education Student Services Advisor Drew Schuckman presented a workshop at the 18th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference. The workshop session highlighted effective dropout prevention strategies being implemented in Pennsylvania with particular focus on high school reform, truancy reduction and facilitating youth-school-parent-community connections. The conference was held in San Antonio, Texas October 21-25, 2006.

The following resources were referenced or used during the workshop: