Davenport Schools kicked off a new dropout prevention program Saturday morning at JB Young called "Drop Back In: Finish It!" People will be knocking on doors to encouraging students to come back to school. A rally was held with the help of some students that have been decided to drop back in themselves.
Rashawn Bogan stood before a crowd of educators, community members and his peers today and shared the struggles he faced as a student.
“It just didn’t work out so well so I kind of just gave up,” Bogan says.
Rashawn decided to drop out and became of the 10% of students in the district to do so. Davenport Community Schools has one of the highest dropout rates in the state.
Dr. Art Tate, Superintendent of the district says this new approach is aggressive but it is what is needed to decrease the number.
“I just think sometimes we just sit back and think they are going to come but this time we are actually going out, seeking them out in their homes and we are saying we want you.”
Numerous volunteer ambassadors headed out to the front doors of dropouts. One ambassador is Kamie Swanson, Smart Intermediate’s Associate Principal.
“We get a list of students and their addresses and their transcripts from high school and we go talk to them about what it would take to finish,” she says. “If we get one student today [to go back to school, that’s a success; if we get more, even better.”
The district says the idea is to let the students see firsthand that people care and want them to finish school. It is a tactic that Rashawn says worked for him.
“For someone else to actually believe in me, was overwhelming,” he says. “If that person can believe in you that much, you might as well get it done.”
If you know someone or have dropped out and are under the age of 21, you can text or call 563-449-4196 to find out more information about earning your high school diploma.