Students Can Earn Incentives for Bringing No-shows Back to School

HISD students have the opportunity to earn a $100 gift card if they successfully locate and refer a classmate who has dropped out or has not yet enrolled for the 2013-2014 school year. The incentive program lasts from now until September 26 and is part of comprehensive districtwide effort called Youth Watch, which is aimed at reducing the district’s dropout rate.

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HISD is also asking the entire Houston community to assist with Youth Watch. Parents, grandparents, local business and community members are encouraged to call the Office of Dropout prevention at 713-556-7017 if they know an HISD youth age 13 to 21 who is not in school and has not yet graduated from high school.

Current HISD students who successfully participate in the return of an unenrolled student will earn a $100 gift card incentive per recovered student up to $500 total to be paid in January 2014. Certain conditions apply:

• Returning students must re-enroll within a window from Monday, September 9, through Thursday, September 26, 2013.
• Returning students must remain continuously enrolled through the fall semester ending December 20, 2013, or meet graduation requirements before December 20, 2013.

Students who return may re-enroll into a variety of HISD programs including alternative and virtual schools, Grad Labs and schools that offer evening and weekend hours. Recovered students will also be eligible to enter a drawing for a $500 gift card incentive if they remain enrolled or graduate by December 20, 2013.

In addition to the student incentives, the district is providing 41 middle and 26 high schools with extra funding to pay HISD police officers, teachers, and school clerks to conduct home visits after work and on weekends. Central Office employees will also be working directly with secondary schools in coming weeks to assist campuses in their efforts to recover students who have not yet returned to school. Each district administrator has adopted a campus that they will visit daily, offering support and resources to the principal when needed.