Students who need extra help graduating from school or information on the GED will find plenty of resources at the DeKalb School System's Dropout Roundup on April 22 at Clarkston High School.
The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. event, in its second year, is designed to help decrease the school system's high school dropout rate which according to the Governor's office of Student Achievement stood at 4.0 percent in 2004. Among Latinos and African-American students, the dropout rate is nearly 50 percent.
Dropout Roundup is targeting students who need help to complete their high school diploma, get a GED or pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test.
Wendolyn Bouie, the county's director of special projects, said the event provides youth with options to get a diploma in a non-traditional way.
"We take a comprehensive approach to try to get dropouts back into school,"she said.
Bouie said options for dropouts include attending Open Campus high school, participating in the Gateway to College Academy, or going to night school. The Open Campus high school caters to students in the grades 10 to 12 who need a flexible schedule and want no involvement in extracurricular activities.
The Gateway program, an alliance between DeKalb Schools and Georgia Perimeter College, is for students who are at least 16 years old and read on an eighth-grade level. Students take classes at GPC to get college credit and high school credit toward finishing their diploma.
Night school, which runs from 3 to 8 p.m., is directed toward at-risk youth and students with attendance problems. Former DeKalb School students older than age 21 will get information on obtaining a GED.
School district counselors, psychologists and administrators are coordinating the Dropout Roundup in association with a number of county agencies. The DeKalb Department of Family and Children Services, which helps young mothers with childcare; DeKalb Workforce Center, which works with youth in obtaining a GED, getting into a trade school or college, and part-time employment; and the Georgia Department of Labor are participating.
Bouie said the event is reinforcing the idea that youth need to finish high school one way or another.
"Out goal is to get students who have dropped out into some type of educational program either to get a GED or receive some type of high school diploma," she said.
Clarkston High School is at 618 North Indian Creek Road in Clarkston. For more information, call 678-676-1135.