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TELL CITY - Tell City-Troy Township School Board members approved in a regular meeting March 10 the launch of a dropout-prevention program a proponent said has produced an "amazing" outcome so far in Indiana.
"Southern Indiana is getting on board" with the Jobs for American Graduates Program, said Nancy Schroering, director of the WorkOne office in Jasper. Indiana as a whole is in its third year of participation and has become one of the nationwide program's biggest clients, she explained.
WorkOne offices are part of the state's Department of Workforce Development, which is responsible for employment programs, including unemployment insurance, and facilitates regional economic growth initiatives.
JAG will offer elective-credit classes for at-risk students who need one-on-one instruction, Schroering said. Participants will learn leadership skills through participation in a club that will select its own officers, and would be instructed by a WorkOne employee who would integrate him- or herself into the school's staff, which will include attending regular staff meetings and performing cafeteria-monitoring duties as other teachers do.
The position, which will be funded through WorkOne, Schroering said, was to be advertised in The News today and Monday, through the Vincennes University employment office and www.indianacareerconnect.com.
Work opportunities will be offered to students who don't already have jobs and "we like to do summer projects that allow a group to work together," she said.
The goal is to start with 20 to 25 juniors or seniors, Schroering told the board. High-school Principal Dale Stewart noted that the program "has some pretty stringent income guidelines."
Belonging to a low-income family is one component in defining an at-risk student, but "family income should not be the only criteria for targeting students for participation," according to an information packet Schroering provided to board members.
Being a year or more behind their age group, below-average test scores or grade-point average, failure to pass tests required for graduation, high rates of absence, placement on probation and expulsion are other factors that should be considered.
A year of follow-up after graduation will track students to determine if they're pursuing additional education or employed, Schroering said, adding the program will be launched in Cannelton, as well.
Students interested in participating or their parents should call the high school. To apply for the instructional position, contact Schroering at (812) 482-6690 or (812) 827-1917.