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Youth Will Complete School (Anne Arundel) (Formerly School Completion)


Local Indicator: Graduation Rate (4-Year Adjusted Cohort)

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

  • Poor attendance (some by choice others due to barriers - see TTC for Truancy for more details!)
  • Students not understanding cultural norms of the school they are attending and/or schools not understanding the cultural norms of their students - need to bridge the gaps
  • Households with working parents often put kids at a disadvantage in terms of at-home support (latchkey kids) - very common in single-parent households or when parents need to work multiple jobs
  • Teacher Bias/Discrimination 
  • Institutional or systemic racism
  • The disproportionate rate at which children of color receive certain discipline/punishments vs. white students
  • Latinx Community- great attendance rates in elementary/middle, but poor in highschool
  • Cultural difference in the Hispanic community about the age at which young people need to be working/employed vs finishing school. 
  • Partially about cultural differences but also often a reality of economics (costs of immigration services, costs to legal/criminal issues, barriers to living wage around documentation, etc.)
  • ACES- lack of resiliency and how the biological impacts of trauma can manifest in teenagers
  • Language Barriers
  • Being responsible for another sibling
  • Transportation barriers - can make it hard to get to school if the bus is missed, or access after school/other prorams services without a car
  • Not having a mentor or other supportive adult
  • Barriers to after-school/ extracurricular engagement which can impact a student's connection to school, social and peer group relationships, staff relationships, etc.
  • Digital Divide: existed pre-COVID, pandemic only exacerbated the divide
  • Remote Learning- a lot of students don't have access to technology at home. If they do have access they may not have WIFI. If they do have wi-fi, there may be several kids and/or parents that need to share the same device or the internet bandwidth. 
  • Social Media Distraction (also negative impact on mental health)
  • Lack of access to materials to support learning 
  • Peer relationships
  • Bullying
  • School feeling like a safe space for all students
  • Early Diagnosis of learning disabilities 
  • Challenges with getting IEP's/504 plans implemented properly without parent involvement/advocacy which not all families have capacity for
  • Kids at Hope "Time Travel" concept - need to give youth a way to paint better pictures of their futures, different avenues for what success looks like
  • Different avenues/options for success after high school and advocacy, visibility and support for those options as being good options
  • Healthcare access - both somatic and mental health
  • Social determinants - it is complex and intertwined but poor outcomes in other areas (like health) have an impact on school success and vice-versa
  • Lack of access to healthy food
  • Criminalization of youthful behaviors
  • Challenges with sleep and school start times for high-schoolers (biological incompatibility)


  • AACC
  • Churches/faith community
  • Families
  • Business community/Chambers of Commerce
  • Civic groups like sororities/fraternaties, Elks, American Legion, etc. 
  • Non-Profit organizations in the community that offer services/programming (RCDC, LOTW, Newtowne CDC, etc.)
  • Center of Help
  • Kingdom Kare/Celebration
  • Family Support Centers
  • AA Conflict Resolution Center
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Activists 
  • Students 
  • Politicians/Legislators
  • MSDE
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Mental Health
  • YWCA 
  • Libraries
  • Criminal Justice System

What Works

  • Relationship building, networking - creating that "team approach" in school and the community
  • Advocacy
  • Conflict Resolution Services (attendance mediation, circles, etc.)
  • Restorative Practices (Brooklyn Park Teen Court, community conferencing, re-entry mediation, conflict coaching)
  • Grass Roots Efforts - and really listening to the community when they tell you what the solutions are that they need!
  • Alternative Programs (more options/ job trainings/ work study/ paid internships) beyond traditional classes
  • Community & after-school programming that helps youth develop skills/resiliency in addition to academic support: Mentoring programs like YES & BWS, Strengthening Families, Second Step, etc. 
  • Global Citizenship Program 
  • Improving resources and access that the teacher actually has to resolve issues within the classroom (better tools beyond detention, suspension, expulsion)
  • Strategic Professional Development for teachers (see above)
  • Attendance Specialists (not punitive)
  • Reframing School Social Workers 
  • Ensuring better representation among staff (mirroring)- experiences as well as diversity
  • Training for schools, providers & community in ACES, trauma, equity and institutional/systemic racism
  • Parenting programs/support


  1. More options and increased access to mentoring and after-school programs that provide a mix of academic support and life skills training (like resiliency, coping, anger management, time management, etc.)
  2. Broader focus inside school on pathways for success beyond college - not just "an alternative to" college (as if college is the default) but presenting other options along side college as similarly weighted options for the future
  3. Staff and community training on racism, ACES, equity and inclusion to address disparities and make school better, safer & more welcoming
  4. Work with AACPS to create a team approach to addressing student need (look at LOTW/RCDC model for youth support and engagement of school administration)

Data Discussion

Data disaggregated by race was available on the Maryland Scorecard by MSDE through 2018 and that data file is located below in the File Attachments section. No report card data was available for 2019 and 2020 with disaggregation because of COVID-19.

Research Agenda

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

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