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Community Conversation

MPT convened a group of education leaders, stakeholders, dropout prevention experts, researches, city and state education staff to gain a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the dropout crisis in Maryland. Topics included common barriers and challenges, potential solutions and progress in and outside of schools, dropout recovery efforts, the importance of early warning indicators and intervention. The collaborative conversation broadened MPT’s knowledge base and was a driving force behind the resources and support programs included on this website.

Community Conversation Participants

Andrew O. Moore
Senior Fellow,  National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
The Institute helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth and families in their communities.

Dr. Bob Balfanz
Co-Director/Principal Investigator, Researcher, Johns Hopkins University, Everyone Graduates Center

The Center develops and disseminates the know-how required to enable all students to graduate from high school prepared for college, career, and civic life. EGC’s goal is to keep all students on the path to high school graduation, and build capacity to enable states, communities, school districts, and schools to provide students with the supports they need.

David Beard
Education Policy Director, Advocates for Children and Youth

ACY provides recommendations for the state education department, districts, communities, students and families in the Early Interventions/Early Identification Systems, Alternative Programming, Student Support Services, and Improved GED Processes.

Jane Sundius
Director of Education and Youth Development, The Open Society Institute

OSI works to reduce suspensions/expulsions in school and revise discipline codes in Baltimore City and statewide. They also launched an attendance campaign to combat chronic school absenteeism and encourage daily attendance.

Dr. Betty Molina Morgan
MPT Commissioner and President, The Morgan Education Group
The Morgan Education Group provides advocacy and consulting services that support the success of students. The group includes national, proven experts in virtually all aspects of P-20 education.

Karen Webber-Ndour
Executive Director of Student Support, Baltimore City Public Schools

BCPS provides a comprehensive and integrated system of student support services for students and their families. The focus is to meet the social, emotional and academic needs of all students, and to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed.

Lara Ohanian 
Director, Office of Student Enrollment, Choice, and Transfer, Baltimore City Public Schools
The Office of Enrollment, Choice and Transfers assists students, families and community members and provides comprehensive services and alternative education programs for at-risk youth.

Patricia Thomas
Site Supervisor,  Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development
MOED's Youth Services division operates FUTURES Works, a dropout prevention program that provides daily comprehensive services to students at target high schools in Baltimore City. FUTURES Works uses evidence-based practices to decrease the dropout rate among the most at-risk students.

Rhonda Ulmer
Founding Director, University for Parents
UFP helps parents support their children in order to graduate from high school and be successful in life through educational opportunities.

Robert Murphy
Dropout Prevention Coordinator
, Maryland State Department of Education
The Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch provide leadership and technical assistance to local school systems. These programs include: guidance and career development, school psychology, pupil personnel, school social work, health services and safe and drug-free schools. They also focus on dropout prevention, alternative programs and home instruction.

Sabrina Sutton
Special Assistant, Youth and Education, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office
MOED's Youth Services division operates FUTURES Works, a dropout prevention program that provides daily comprehensive services to students at target high schools in Baltimore City. FUTURES Works uses evidence-based practices to decrease the dropout rate among the most at-risk students.

Sue Fothergill 
Director, Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign
The Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign aims to increase high quality opportunities for youth and improve student attendance which is a predictor for youth disengagement.





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