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GradMinnesota Makes Strides Toward Graduation Goal

GradMinnesota, an innovative partnership of Minnesota Alliance With Youth, the Office of the Governor, and the Minnesota Department of Education, is making strides toward its vision to have all young people in Minnesota graduate from high school prepared for success in postsecondary opportunity, work, civic engagement, and life.

GradMinnesota recently surveyed key stakeholders to identify top issue areas and develop a structure to drive the work forward. The following areas were identified as having priority and will make up the three GradMinnesota working committees:

• Implementing Early Warning Systems and Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Students, co-chaired by Cammy Lehr, Minnesota Department of Education, and Marnie Thompson, Northfield Public Schools;

• Providing a Trained Mentor or Caring Adult for Every Minnesota Student, co-chaired by Kori Redepenning, Minnesota Alliance With Youth, and Joellen Gonder-Spacek, Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota; and

• Recovering and Re-engaging Youth for Success, co-chaired by Sarah Dixon, Minnesota Alliance With Youth, and Sandra Lewandowski, Intermediate District 287.

Each committee will develop and propose statewide solutions that can be supported by the legislature to impact graduation rates in Minnesota, incorporate strategies to improve collaboration between schools, communities, and government, and create opportunities to educate the public on the importance of increasing graduation rates and decreasing dropout rates.

Overall, GradMinnesota works to:

1. Achieve a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020,

2. Increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates for all young people,

3. Decrease the number of high schools that have overall four-year graduation rates of less than 80 percent to ZERO by 2020, and

4. Foster and improve collaboration between schools and communities, embedding Minnesota’s graduation goal into any youth-focused program or initiative.

Questions about GradMinnesota? Want to be involved? Contact Cammy Lehr at cammy.lehr@state.mn.us or Sarah Dixon at sdixon@staging1.mnyouth.net.

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