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The following concurrent sessions – one of four themed tracks – took place at Check & Connect's first national conference, and slides from specific sessions are available below.
Lowana Greensky, Director, Indian Education Services, St. Louis County Schools (ISD #2142)
St. Louis County Schools is not only the largest geographical school district in the state of Minnesota, but also serves American Indian students from three distinct Reservation Communities - Nett Lake and Vermilion, located on the Bois Forte Reservation, and Brookston, on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Through funding from the Department of Indian Education Services, we are in the second year of implementing Check & Connect in our county schools. Please join us in a discussion about the successes and struggles of implementing with fidelity.
Florida's State Personnel Development Grant targets increasing the graduation rate of students with disabilities through multiple initiatives one of which is the implementation and scaling up of Check and Connect. Working closely with the Institute on Community Integration we are entering year 3 of this initiative. Check & Connect has provided a structure to what many Florida schools were already doing, and has becomes an invaluable resource for schools challenged with disengaged students. Florida selected districts experiencing challenges in graduating students with disabilities to receive support to implement Check and Connect for a 2 year period. Working closely with the Florida Department of Education’s Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services we are currently implementing across 12 school districts in 36 schools. Plans are under way to double that number of schools over the next two years. Aligning and integrating with the Florida Multi-Tiered System of Supports two models of Check & Connect implementation have emerged. We have created a number of tools looking at fidelity of implementation from various perspectives. This presentation will look at structures needed to support implementation, lessons learned along the way and preliminary data from our implementation sites. Check and Connect is enabling Florida to produce “Successful Graduates.”
Judge Daniel Heath, Allen Superior Court Judge, Fort Wayne, IN
Jerome Graham, Project Coordinator and MAP Mentor, Amicus
Eileen Klemm, M.A., Check & Connect Project Coordinator & Trainer, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (moderator)
This panel session will present two different approaches to the implementation of Check & Connect. The first approach intends to keep youth in school who are at-risk for truancy, prior to any adjudication by the courts. Judge Heath will describe his role in leading this Check & Connect implementation in Fort Wayne Community and East Allen County Schools in Indiana. The second approach aims to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth with disabilities already adjudicated to a residential juvenile justice facility in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Jerome Graham will describe his role in supporting the reentry of adjudicated youth into school, employment, and community programs as a Check & Connect coordinator and mentor for this the MAP Project.
Kimberly Boyd, National Vice President, Educational Foundations & Academic Innovation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Daisy Loretta Smith, Ph.D., Director, Education Programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Though schools and families are key to a child’s academic achievement, afterschool providers may be one of the largest untapped resources critical to that success. Boys & Girls Clubs of America has committed to supporting the academic advancement of its members through a broad range of academic programs, including BE GREAT: Graduate, a comprehensive dropout prevention strategy based on the University of Minnesota’s Check & Connect model. Successes, challenges, and lesson learned will be reviewed.
Colleen Kaibel, Dropout Prevention Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools
Since 2002, Minneapolis Public Schools has expanded Check & Connect from 2 to 26 schools with 70 Check & Connect staff. Colleen Kaibel is the MPS district Dropout Prevention Coordinator and has implemented Check & Connect since 1995. Kaibel will speak to development, implementation, sustainability, fidelity, and evaluation of Check & Connect over the last thirteen years in MPS and how you can replicate the model in your school or community.