The goal of Diploma On! is to reduce barriers for students and increase graduation rates by contacting students previously dropped from their school programs and inviting them back to school.
Diploma On! is not a school or a place, but rather a service to engage students in their education. Our Diploma On! Coordinators work with students, their families, and their schools to re-engage unenrolled students into school settings that meet their individual needs. This is a voluntary and free service for students and families.
Coordinators facilitate re-engagement through student and family outreach via telephone, mail, email, and Facebook. After the initial contact, a meeting may be scheduled to determine the student’s barriers to school. Finding an appropriate school program can often connect students to the necessary resources and staff to address previous barriers. We can then act as a mentor, motivator, or caseworker to ensure students enroll and stay in school.
We are based in Intermediate District 287 and the following member districts participate in our program: Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Osseo, Orono, Richfield, St. Louis Park, Robbinsdale, Wayzata, and Westonka.
Part of District 287's member districts (either residing in, was attending school at)
Have dropped out of school
Have been dropped from a school district and have not re-enrolled
Have been excluded and/or expelled from a school
Find program options that fit student needs;
Meet student through intake process;
Navigate the educational, county, medical, and mental health systems;
Act as an advocate, resource & referral;
Improve students' relationships with staff within the school;
Implement a graduation plan that is achievable and sustainable; and
Create a post-secondary plan.
Diploma On! was created by school social worker Alexia Poppy-Finley in the spring of 2012 in response to Hennepin County public school superintendents' concern with increasing dropout rates. It was initially part of the Achieving Graduation by Reducing Achievement Disparities (A-GRAD) initiative.
In April of 2012, Diploma On! started its pilot program with Brooklyn Center and St. Louis Park. The following school year (SY 12-13), Hopkins and Osseo joined the project. Eden Prairie, Mound-Westonka, Orono, Richfield, Robbinsdale, and Wayzata joined a year later (SY 13-14). Diploma On! has also added a collaboration with Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association (MVNA) and Bloomington Public Health, in addition to our own Area Learning Centers. Diploma On! has expanded to include two full-time case coordinators and has hosted AmeriCorps Promise Fellows for the past five years.
Diploma On! is supervised by Alexia Poppy-Finley, MSW, LGSW, Ed.S from District 287. It is financed by Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS) funds allocated by District 287 through its member districts.