High schools in Georgia to have 'graduation coaches'

Tue, 08/08/2006 - 3:10pm
By: The Citizen

A new coach will be working in every Georgia high school this year – a “graduation coach.”
The coaches, championed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, will work in each of Georgia’s 385 high schools on ground-level strategies for keeping students in school until they receive their diploma. The new coaches will gather Aug. 8-10 to discuss strategies and receive training on high school completion.

“Finishing high school, going to college and finding that first job are important milestones that every young Georgian should experience,” Perdue said. “High school graduation coaches will help at-risk students stay in school by working closely with them, their teachers, administrators and parents.”

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and Communities In Schools (CIS) are working together to provide comprehensive training to the graduation coaches in Atlanta.

Governor Perdue will speak at the training session Thursday at 10 a.m. State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox kicked off the training on Tuesday, August 8 at 10:30 a.m.

“These are people who will be in the school, on the ground level, getting to know the students, the parents and the school community,” Cox said. “They will build those relationships that are crucial to keeping students in school and motivated.”

Under the program, approved by the legislature earlier this year, each of Georgia’s 385 public high schools can hire a graduation coach and send them to the training. The coach’s primary responsibility will be to identify and work with at-risk students and help them get back on the graduation track before they drop out. They will also identify, recruit and engage concerned organizations and agencies to serve in a variety of ancillary roles in their respective communities.

Throughout the student/coach relationship, the coaches will work with faculty, administrators, parents and Communities in Schools to provide training opportunities. Community organizations and government agencies will help provide necessary resources and programs to connect to the students.

To learn more about Communities in Schools, go to www.cisga.org.

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