Youth Development Commission along with partners, Detroit Public Schools and Michigan Community Services Commission will aid in the eradication of chronic absenteeism in our schools. The Detroit Public Schools was chosen by the Whitehouse to participate in the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Success Mentors Every Student, Every Day campaign this year. Mentor Michigan, a program of the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) which serves as the State’s Mentoring Partnership organization, will be partnering with the Detroit Public Schools and the many community partners to assist with developing the strategies to implement this evidence-based data driven mentor model and student support system to tackle chronic absenteeism.
The YDC AmeriCorps members will be a part of the school team that leads the initiative. Weekly Student Success meetings will be held with school staff and success mentors or their representatives. They will review data and track chronically absent students, diagnose absences and determine the most strategic points of intervention, direct appropriate supports to the students or family, and progress monitor the initiative. A school based or school linked caring adult or peer mentor is able to provide one-on-one support, encouragement, and practical problem solving, for chronically absent students. Success mentors develop positive relationships with students and their families/care givers, respond to each absence, recognize even small improvements, and leverage these actions to unearth the root-causes of the student’s absenteeism. They can also connect them to appropriate and needed supports.
Timeline of the initiative:
The program will launch in January 2017 with the recruitment of AmeriCorps members and developing the teams for each of the Success Mentor program pilot schools. It will continue throughout the school year. Improvements will be made over the summer and with demonstrated results, more AmeriCorps members will be requested to broaden the effort in additional buildings in the district.
Number of students who will be served:
The number of students to be served will be determined based on the current chronic absenteeism data analysis being conducted for each of the pilot schools and the number of mentors who are recruited. An asset mapping process is also being conducted to determine the resources of each of the buildings to determine the number of mentors that will be generated from internal school mentors and from community based mentors.
Recent statistics have demonstrated that Detroit has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the United States with approximately 58% of the students missing 10% or more of their school year. The Youth Development Commission will recruit, train and support AmeriCorps members to provide direct services addressing chronic absenteeism among students enrolled in one of five (5) Detroit Public Schools
Success Mentor Project will require a community-wide effort to ensure its success. Volunteer mentors and supporting partners are welcome to contact Youth Development Commission by calling 313-963-8916.