Stay in School Initiative Helps Improve Graduation Rates at CPS Schools

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Eleven years after the Stay in School Initiative was created by Exelon, ComEd and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago to fight the high dropout and truancy rates in various Chicago Public Schools, Stay in School and its six community partners have served over 25,000 students ages 11 and up. The 2015-16 Report Card revealed that 92 percent of students who actively participated in the Stay in School programs were excelling and eligible for graduation. Stay in School provides afterschool programs to high school students from neighborhoods where school dropout rates are among the highest in the city, including Austin, Humboldt Park/West Town, Bridgeport, Cicero, North Lawndale and Grand Crossing. Exelon and ComEd employees also volunteer as one-on-one Stay in School mentors. They work with students to build tangible career skills including how to write a resume, how to network and interview for a job and appropriate behaviors necessary for a corporate job. The Stay in School Initiative has kept students on track for graduation and instilled in them a desire for academic achievement. The 2015-16 Report Card surveyed 692 students who participated most intensively in Stay in School programs and found:

  • Ninety-one percent of students had at least a 90 percent attendance rate
  • The percent of students with 90 percent school attendance is up significantly from 2015’s 77.8 percent
  • Ninety-eight percent were eligible for grade promotion
  • Ninety-two percent of seniors were eligible for graduation

These continuing advancements are made possible by collaborating with valued community agencies; B.U.I.L.D. Inc., Corazon Community Services, Gary Comer Youth Center, Project: VISION, Young Men’s Educational Network’s, and Youth & Opportunity United. Each agency is focused on encouraging Chicago students to engage more actively in academics and contribute positively to society.

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