Councilmember Fimbres is pleased to announce the launching of GradLink2.

 

GradLink2:
Increasing Graduation through Community-Wide Partnerships

Purpose:
At its inception, “GradLink” was an initiative targeted at increasing prosperity and reducing poverty through graduation, literacy, and job skills.  In an effort to address the dropout situation in Southern Arizona, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke of helping organizations with proven programs to partner with on this bold initiative.  Sunnyside District has had a successful Dropout Recovery program in place for more than three years.  With the recent infusion of technology through the deployment of laptops to students, Sunnyside was ready to step up to this challenge. On December 11, 2012, the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board announced a partnership with the Tucson Mayor’s Office. Together, they began the “GradLink” initiative that addressed graduation throughout our city.  Since then, Sunnyside has experienced an increase in students returning to school. Seeing the value of this partnership, Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) and other county-wide partners have recently joined the initiative in an attempt to expand its services throughout Pima County.  With the support of the newly added partners in promotion of the program, we will work to increase literacy and graduation rates in Pima County with the expansion of “GradLink2”. 
    
Goals:
• Identify young adults ages 17 to 21 who have dropped out of school and return them to their goal of graduating.
• Offer 24/7 online learning opportunities for students across Pima County.
• Provide two main satellites to serve as the hub at Sunnyside Unified School District’s S.T.A.R. Academic Center, and Tucson Unified School District’s Tucson High Magnet School.
• Students will be provided a laptop at no charge, access to online curriculum and teachers, and a blended classroom setting to support them in achieving their educational goal of high school graduation.
• With today’s technology and resources, there should no students dropping out of Pima County.

Benefits of the Partnership:
• Economic benefit of students who have dropped out returning to school.
• A community-wide initiative that promotes literacy and educational attainment for all graduates.
• Enabling immigrant youth to become eligible to apply to stay in the country under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) policy.
• Assisting and encouraging DACA students age 31 and under to stay in school, demonstrate academic growth, and proceed on a path to become a legal resident.
• Improving the graduation rate in Pima County by a city-wide initiative.
• Attaining the educational goal of graduation will increase prosperity throughout the community.
• Increasing of Sunnyside’s and TUSD’s enrollment.