Training for Education Advocates

Topic: Advocating for the Special Education Rights of Court-Involved Youth
Trainers: Claire Nilsen Blumenson and Tayo Belle with the School Justice Project

Session 1: Training for legal professionals
Thursday, January 16, 2020
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Judicial Center, 700 W Jefferson Street, First Floor Training Rm
Information and registration: Maria Gurren

Session 2: Training for education and community-based professionals
Thursday, January 16, 2020
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Louisville Free Public Library, 301 York Street, Community Room
Information and Registration: Elizabeth Senn-Alvey

The School Justice Project (SJP) is a legal services and advocacy organization serving older students with special education needs who are involved in justice systems. Since 2013, SJP has been dedicated to ensuring that older (ages 17-22), court-involved youth with disabilities receive a quality education in the District of Columbia. By using special education legal advocacy in the juvenile and criminal contexts, SJP aims to increase access to education, decrease future court contact, and reshape the education and justice landscapes for older court-involved students with disabilities.

Since 2018, the School Justice Project has been working with legal and education advocates in Louisville and across the state to explore ways to strengthen the educational services for court-involved youth/young adults with special education needs. The results of their work are tangible but there is much to do together.  Please join us for this important opportunity to build your advocacy skills and to add your ideas on how to improve education outcomes for struggling and marginalized youth.

Youth Homelessness Resources

The Coalition for the Homeless has released a flyer describing the HUD funded services in Louisville to end youth homelessness. Help spread the word to young people and partners about these important new opportunities.

TAYLRD

TAYLRD provides services to youth (18-24) who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Case managers assist youth in developing a housing plan, which focuses on their unique housing needs. Case managers also assist youth in securing documents, benefits, &/or referrals to community resources that would further support youth in meeting their goals. Youth can also meet with TAYLRD’s onsite physical and mental health staff and find support through our life skills groups, laundry service, meals, hygiene products, Wi-Fi, and computers.

Drop-in hours MonFri 2pm-5pm or by appointment. 1020 E. Broadway. | LOUISVILLE, KY 40204 | CENTERSTONE.ORG Main Phone Line: 502-690-4399 or call Michele Isham at 502-639-0547

Family Scholar House

The mission of Family Scholar House is to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve life-long self-sufficiency. Our YHDP project works with young adults aging out of the foster care system and provides comprehensive services and housing.

INFO@FAMILYSCHOLARHOUSE.ORG | 502-584-8090 FAMILYSCHOLARHOUSE.ORG

Home of the Innocents

Home of the Innocents’ Pathways HOME program provides services to young adults (ages 18-24) experiencing homelessness and their children. We provide direct housing assistance, case management, education and employment coaching, resources like our Dare to Care food bank, and Life Skills classes.

325 BAXTER AVE | LOUISVILLE, KY 40204 | 502-596-1320 HOMEOFTHEINNOCENTS.ORG

Kentucky Youth Career Center

  • Onsite GED program for ages 18 – 24
  • Links to employment opportunities
  • Occupational skills training
  • Workforce education
  • Internship Academy
  • College and employer tours
  • Career and education fairs
  • Workshops
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • Food pantry
  • Opportunity Shop Computer Lab
  • Access to Legal Aid

612 S. 4TH ST. | LOUISVILLE, KY 40202 | 502-574-4115 WEAREKYCC.ORG

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul Louisville will serve young adults (aged 18-24) and their children in 24 units of transitional housing. Referrals to this housing will be made by the Common Assessment team. For more information, you can call 502-584-2480 or visit our website at svdplou.org.

Our main office is located at 1015-C S. Preston Street, Louisville, KY 40203. 1015-C S. PRESTON ST. | LOUISVILLE, KY 40203 | 502-584-2480 SVDPLOU.ORG

YMCA Safe Place

YMCA Safe Place provides street-based and drop-in center support to young adults 18-24 experiencing homelessness or unstable housing. We offer support for youth by providing access to day-time shelter, hygiene items, showers, a meal, clothing, and laundry as well as support in goal setting, skill development, and accessing community resources through case management, life skills groups, and resource referrals.

Drop in Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; Tuesday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

CHANNAH@YMCALOUISVILLE.ORG | 502-635-4402 YMCALOUISVILLE.ORG

YouthBuild Louisville

YouthBuild Louisville and their partners provide services to low-income, homeless young adults (ages 18-24) including information on LGBTQ-friendly supportive services, education, employment, mental/physical health services, transportation, food, clothing, identification and social security card attainment, and enrollment in insurance. We also provide housing navigation and vouchers, housing case management and life skills development.

INFO@YBLKY.ORG | 502-290-6121 YBLKY.ORG

Number and Rate of Disconnected Youth Increases in Louisville

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Measure of America’s latest report, More Than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today, updates disconnected youth estimates for the country as a whole, for states, counties, and metro areas, and by gender and race and ethnicity. The report finds that the youth disconnection rate declined in the United States for the sixth year in a row, reaching a low of 11.7 percent in 2016.

However, the disconnection rate in Louisville/Jefferson County has increased from 10.9% (15,200 young people) in 2015 to 13.4% (18,800 young people) in 2016. Disconnection rates vary by gender and race:
  • 13.4% of all youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 13.9% of male youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 12.8% of female youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 27.7% of Black youth/young adults are out of school and work
  • 10.5% of White youth/young adults are out of school and work

Disconnected—or opportunity—youth are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school. This report is the first in Measure of America’s disconnected youth series to compare American and European metro areas, or to examine disconnection by different group characteristics such as motherhood, marriage status, disability, English proficiency, citizenship, educational attainment, institutionalization, and household composition.

Other key findings include:

  • A chasm of nearly 20 percentage points separates the disconnection rates of racial and ethnic groups.
  • An alarmingly high share of disconnected black boys and young men—nearly a fifth—is institutionalized, compared to just 0.3 percent of the overall population in that age group.
  • Disconnected young people are about two-and-a-half times as likely to be living family other than parents, about twice as likely to be living with a roommate, and eight times as likely to be living alone.

To learn more about these and other findings, see the full report. The most recent data on disconnected youth can also be found in our interactive tool.

Louisville Metro Community Centers

Louisville Metro operates 18 community centers, each offering a variety of amenities. Check out the services and programs at each location:

Baxter
Beechmont
Berrytown (Home of Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation)
Camp Edwards
California
Cyril Allgeier
Douglass
Parkhill
Flaget Senior Center
Newburg
Shelby Park
Metro Arts Center
Molly Leonard Portland
Shawnee Arts & Cultural
Sun Valley
South Louisville
Southwick
Wilderness Road Senior Center

How Many Young Adults in Louisville Haven’t Completed High School?

Recently released data from the U.S. Census estimate there are nearly 10,000 18 to 24 year olds in Jefferson County, KY without a high school diploma or GED.

 

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This represents a significant decline in the percentage of young women without a high school credential from 2005 to 2015 (from 26.26% to 13.35%). However, the percentage of young men who have not completed high school declined only slightly over the same period, from 18.3% to 16.5%.

 

percent-without-diploma-trend-data

 

 

Serving Homeless Students

According to the recently released Project Aware Issue Brief, Homeless Students and Mental Health Cultural Competency, youth and young adults experiencing homelessness suffer significant barriers to full participation in school. When homeless youth attend school they are unlikely to have eaten or slept sufficiently. They often lack medical and dental care, and are more susceptible to common illnesses like skin diseases and upper respiratory infections. Compared to their peers, they have higher rates of depression, low self-esteem, suicide, substance abuse, and anxiety. They are often alienated and experience difficulty making friends. In the classroom, they may have difficulty listening, asking for help, and following directions, and they often have to repeat grades, especially because they may rarely turn in homework and often suffer from one or more learning disabilities.

Effective Strategies for Schools

  • The first priority should be fulfilling basic needs. Many researchers stress it is misguided to try to get a person who lacks survival necessities to join extracurricular activities, do homework, or seek counseling.
  • To better identify these students, schools can reach unknown homeless youth through networks of visible/known homeless youth; coordinate with homeless shelters and church groups; post information about support for homeless students in areas where youth congregate; and coordinate with trusted educators, adults, and other school workers with whom homeless minors feel safe.
  • Implement a mentor program to model academic achievement as well as help homeless students with basic social skills and, if possible, tutoring. A mentor can help these students feel more connected to his or her school and lower their dropout risk.
  • Familiarize faculty and staff with laws related to abuse, neglect, and runaway students. Make it clear to faculty and staff when they are required to report charges to law enforcement or child protective services.
  • Create alternative opportunities for homeless youth to earn graduation credit. Offer partial credit for completed coursework. Consider programs that allow flexible school hours, like work-education programs (that allow students to earn money as well as credit) or computer-based training.

Ineffective Strategies

  • Suspension and expulsion are ineffective in improving outcomes for students experiencing homelessness.
  • Schools should not withhold enrollment until students can produce paperwork, such as immunization or school records. Youth seeking enrollment should be allowed to start classes as quickly as possible. It is also important not to force students to live on the streets or in homeless shelters before they are allowed McKinney-Vento Act protections.

 

For All Kids: How Kentucky is Closing Graduation Gap

Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University recently released For All Kids: How Kentucky is Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Low-Income Students,  a report on how Kentucky achieved the highest graduation rate for low-income students and the smallest graduation rate gap between low-income and non-low-income students in the United States in 2013. 

Report Authors: Joanna Fox, Senior Policy Analyst at Johns Hopkins; Erin Ingram, Policy Advisor at Civic Enterprises; and Jennifer DePaoli, Senior Education Advisor at Civic Enterprises

Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 Focuses on At-Risk Students

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 includes several provisions that support state and district efforts to prevent students from dropping out of high school and to reengage out-of-school youth.

For instance, federal funds are available to schools to coordinate efforts to address aspects of school climate that contribute to students leaving school, such as school-based violence and excessive use of suspensions. These funds encourage schools to work with community-based organizations to introduce violence-prevention programs and train staff in disciplinary strategies that reduce exclusionary discipline.

Additional provisions address the needs of court-involved, homeless, disabled and foster care youth.

Read a brief overview of the ESSA here.

Career Pathways Training at JCTC

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Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky (AOKY) is a career pathways program that combines basic skills education (math, reading and writing) with technical skills training to prepare students for a high demand job. The AOKY program is designed for students who have not completed high school or need to take basic skills courses along with their technical courses.

At JCTC, the AOKY program is available for students interested in earning a college certificate in Allied Health, Automotive Technology, or Computer Information Technologies (A+ certification).

Students in the program enroll in a College and Career Ready class with an adult education instructor to get the math, reading and/or math skills  they need to be successful in their technical courses.  Additionally, students work with a Success Coach and a Career Coach for assistance with:

  • enrolling in Accelerating Opportunity
  • applying for financial aid
  • program orientation and requirements
  • academic advising and planning
  • information on relevant workshops and special events
  • developing plans for students to meet their goals
  • campus and community referrals
  • resume writing and job search activities
  • career exploration and counseling
  • job referrals

 

For more information, contact Gina Embry at (502) 213-5163 or gina.embry@kctcs.edu.

 

 

 

Reengagement Plus! Convening Overview

The National League of Cities Re-engagement Network held its fifth annual convening in Iowa in March 2016. Attendees representing state and local governments, school districts, and community organizations discussed dropout prevention and reengagement strategies, policies and programs.

Some of the “big ideas” presented included:

  • Strengthen enrollment into alternative schools by training staff on cultural competencies, providing one-one-one counseling and referrals and sharing data between community partners to identify needed services;
  • Identify a variety of in-school and community-based alternative programs that prevent, intervene and reengage at-risk youth (example: Omaha Multiple Pathways);
  • Engage youth and parents in the development of programs that assist young people transition to work and school from the juvenile justice system;
  • Invest in PD training that helps staff develop effective relationship-building skills with at-risk youth;
  • Establish a peer leader model in youth programming;
  • Co-located staff from community organizations with WIOA service centers for out-of-school youth;
  • Establish community-wide accountability measures that track most desirable outcomes (for instance, grad rates and wages earned may be higher priority than numbers of GED’s and job placements);
  • Appropriately address the mental health needs of at-risk youth, including anxiety, trauma, and attachment using motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care and effective relationship building;
  • Identify the complex and diverse needs of youth who have disabilities, are LGBT, are non-English speakers or are in foster care and develop individualized plans for addressing these needs;
  • Establish strong partnerships between employers, community colleges, schools, nonprofits, public agencies and others  (ex: Alignment Nashville);
  • Identify workforce skills gaps and develop mid-skill career pathways, supported by innovative post-secondary funding sources, to reengage opportunity youth, particularly in STEM fields;
  • Develop dual-enrollment programs (high school + college) and the wrap around supports needed for students to complete them;
  • Explore state-wide funding and policy strategies, such as in Washington and Colorado;
  • Explore competency or proficiency-based options for credit recovery.

To learn more about the 2016 Reengagement Plus! or to join the National League of Cities Reengagement Network, contact Zachia Nazarzai.

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