Steps to Success

So far, six Steps to Success reenrollment walks have brought 541 former high school students back to school—and 93 have graduated!

An initiative of Tucson Unified School District and the Mayor’s Office, these walks pair community leaders and local celebrities with school staff to go door to door and get students back on track to graduation. School staff have information on different options for the student, including classroom instruction or online programs with in-person teacher support.

Those targeted include students who dropped out, students who should have graduated but lacked credits, and students who should be starting the semester as sophomores but have fallen behind, and could benefit from special programs to help them catch up.

“We’re showing these students that they’re important to the community and their future is important to the community,” said Mayor Rothschild. “When a student sees the mayor or the chief of police or—best of all—a U of A athlete, that makes an impression.”

University of Arizona men’s basketball player Ray Smith was one of the student athletes who participated in the August 2016 walk. He shared his experience of falling behind as a freshman in high school and coming back to graduate, telling the students his team reached out to, “If I can do it, I know you can do it.”

In an effort to spread this program throughout the state, TUSD and Mayor Rothschild have shared program information with other members of the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

The program is beginning to attract national attention, with recent coverage by U.S. News and World Report, Politico and Huffington Post.

One of the program’s first graduates was profiled in a story by Arizona Public Media, below.

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