Fiscal Year 2021 → Question 1
Project Graduation Requirement Achieved through Determination (Project G.R.A.D.) is a graduation intervention program. This program is an expansion of Graduation Innovation Workgroup pilot that began with 10 high schools in the 2018–2019 school year. Project G.R.A.D. now is implemented in 17 high schools that were identified based on their Maryland Report Card Targeted School for Improvement indicator. This program has a FY 2020 budget of $800,000 that includes two full-time central office program specialists, as well as allocated funding directly to schools to provide for additional staffing and materials to implement their individual school action plans. The program specialists provide ongoing direct support to schools with the implementation of school action plans, data analysis, alignment of school and district initiatives, connection to resources via cross-office collaboration and inter-agency relationships, and use and management of allocated funds. The current work of Project G.R.A.D. includes: implementing a prevention component by adding a middle school component and increasing interventions in grades 9 through 11; providing auxiliary support to the Office of School Support and Improvement during the Graduation Validation Process for all 26 high schools and special programs; and collecting feedback and impact data from the Project G.R.A.D. schools. Additionally, Project G.R.A.D., in collaboration with the English for Speakers of Other Languages Curriculum and Instructional Programs office, is offering professional development training in March 2020 to the 17 high schools on Supporting Academic Discourse through Content Instruction, and is providing the high schools the opportunity and support to host Road to Graduation Night events for their students and parents in February and March 2020.