PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 15, 2017) – Today, Project U-Turn, an alliance that unifies partners to increase the graduation rate and prepare young people for new opportunities, shared progress toward its renewed goals. In June 2017, Project U-Turn unveiled new goals to increase re-engagement, reduce the number of young people who disconnect from high school and increase the percent of connections to a post-secondary education, training program and/or employment.
The program began with welcoming remarks from Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), who shared that the graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year, was the highest the District has seen yet at 67 percent. He credited Project U-Turn, stating that since its inception in 2006, the graduation rose 30 percent.
Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa, Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), gave remarks that focused on the collaborative work between DHS and the District. The partnership has strengthened the efforts not only to re-engage young people, but also prevent disconnection, for a far-reaching impact.
“Project U-Turn has been a pivotal convener of key stakeholders including DHS and the SDP to improve educational outcomes. Their role has deepened partnerships and encouraged innovation such as the development of the DHS Education Support Center. We are an eager and continued partner with the SDP and all the Project U-Turn partners,” said Figueroa.
At the event, two presentations focused on case studies of promising practices around re-engagement strategies, followed by an interactive discussion around re-engagement and disconnection prevention. The event was preceded by a private funders’ breakfast hosted by Dr. Hite, sharing updates on the work and impact of Project U-Turn as well as upcoming efforts to collectively continue the improvement of Philadelphia’s high school graduation rate.
To learn more about Project U-Turn’s renewed commitment, visit www.projectuturn.net.