Organization aims to lower dropout rates in Albany

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As the pandemic continues to impact education, one organization wants to help make sure Albany students don’t drop out.

Communities In Schools helps students inside Alice Coachman, Northside and Robert Harvey Elementary schools, along with two other low-performing schools in the Dougherty County School System.

Regional Manager Simone Turner asked county commissioners Monday for a little more than $82,000. They want to hire more site coordinators in order to serve more students.

Regional Manager Simone Turner
Regional Manager Simone Turner(Dougherty County Government)

“Our school-based site coordinators identify students at risk of not achieving their potential, assess their needs and provide wrap-around interventions and resources to change outcomes,” said Turner.

They focus on attendance, behavior and grades.

Turner said they currently have three site coordinators. One serves three schools, taking away from the impact they have at a single school.

“Quite often, what takes place is she may be at one school, but there’s a need so it cuts down the time that she has a particular school to work with a student who is at high risk,” said Turner.

They also offer after-school tutoring to help with math and reading levels.

“Students lacking the skills at third grade are at a higher risk of dropping out of school,” said Turner.

Turner said the investment would help with more than academics, but it would also help the students mentally.

“The investment would really be an impact to the students that we serve because some of our students suffer from mental health. If a mother has transportation issues, we can have a therapist come to school,” explained Turner.

Turner said their goal is to break barriers for kids and keep them in school.

The commission asked the county administrator to look into their budget to see if they can help. The proposal is set to go back to the commission at a later date.

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