Street School was founded in 1973 by community volunteers from the Presbyterian Church of the Advent’s Free Store, originally located near 13th and Cincinnati. A group of young people frequented the store and spoke of the need for an alternative education program for those who were at-risk of dropping out of school. The program has grown to where we now provide direct services for approximately 120 youth annually. Street School’s focus is dropout prevention, intervention and is nationally certified in substance abuse treatment. Due to the success of the program as well as the community need, we currently operate at capacity with 95 students per session, and a continual and growing waiting list.
Despite all the different reasons students choose Street School, they all have something in common. Their academic, social and emotional needs, pregnancy and/or parenting responsibilities have not been met through traditional public education. Street School strives to keep students in school; supporting them through the achievement of their high school diploma. This is critical when you consider the consequences youth face when they drop out of school.
An estimated 14,400 Oklahoma students, 4,200 in Tulsa MSA dropped out from the class of 2011 at great costs to themselves and their communities. If these students would have graduated, Oklahoma would have realized $1.7 billion. Students who complete their high school education are more employable, earn higher salaries, increase tax revenues, lower welfare costs, reduce public health care costs and lower incarceration rates.
Without a dropout prevention program like Street Schools, the statistics would be much worse. We know that to make a difference in the lives of our students we must help them acquire both social and academic tools.
Statistics show that:
- 20% of individuals in the Tulsa MSA ages 18 – 24 did not graduate from high school
- 71% of Oklahoma state prison inmates did not receive a high school diploma
- 25% of those in poverty have less than a high school education compared to 13% that graduated
- Oklahoma high school graduates earn 18% more than those that do not graduate.
(Source: Alliance for Excellent Education, US Census Bureau for Tulsa MSA and Oklahoma, and U.S. Department of Justice.)
2012 – 2013 Street School’s “Report Card”
- 120 teens, ages 14 to 19, enrolled in Street School instead of dropping out
- 10 teachers taught approximately 96 students daily
- Average GPA increased to 2.8 at the end of the school year from 1.2 at entry
- 89% of courses were completed after entering Street School vs. 57% prior to Street School
- Attendance improved by 50%
- 28 of 33 seniors graduated – 85%
- 27 graduates enrolled at Tulsa Community College or Tulsa Technology Center and 1 is employed
- 92% of students surveyed planned on continuing their education vs. 68% prior to attending Street School
- 5 counselors provided individual, group, and family counseling
- 100% of students participated in parenting, healthy lifestyles, art therapy, grief counseling, and anger management groups weekly
- 43% of students have stopped or curtailed drug or alcohol usage
- 79% of students reported getting along better with their family
- 86% of students successfully completed their treatment plans
- 89% of students are more aware of HIV/AIDS and pregnancy prevention
- 91% of surveyed students reported getting along better with their school peers
- 99% of students feel Street School helped to make them better citizens
- 100% of students reported that they would recommend Street School to other teenagers
- 100% of students reported that Street School had a positive effect on their lives
- 34 students met weekly with their mentors for a total of 442 mentoring sessions.
- 17 teens participated in the Wilderness Program
- 23 students participated in the Student Internship program with host companies.
- 100 community service hours were performed through 25 service learning programs
- 6 students participated in the Peer Prevention Group making 5 presentations to 91 youth.
- Over 300 field trips were taken, so students could apply the knowledge learned in the classroom.