"I'm really excited about this because it is a great opportunity to catch kids who have dropped out for various reasons," he said.
During his time on the school board, Krikorian has been focusing on determining the reasons student drop out or don't attend school as often as they should.
"It could be from being bullied or because they have to support their family or frustration with staff or the direction their life is going," Krikorian said. "This is a way for us to ? give them a second chance in life and addresses a few areas we can strengthen as a district."
Daily High School Principal Sherry Stockhamer and district administrators Hank Paz and Greg Franklin visited Gilroy High School in Central California in July to observe and assess a dropout-recovery program there. Advanced Path Academics manages the program for Gilroy, and the costs are offset by state funding, Glendale Unified School District Supt. Michael Escalante said.
Advanced Path Academics, which would staff and manage the recovery program, would track students who have dropped out and try and recruit them back into the program, Krikorian said.
Since most of the students will be adults, they will go through a different program than that used by current district students, Escalante said.
"We're well above the average district in [student] retention but every kid counts and we would like to be as close to perfect as possible," Escalante said. "Kids come in all different types and shapes and if we can provide some program that makes some difference in a child, let's do that."
While many districts lose 30% to 50% of their students between ninth- and 12th grade, Glendale's dropout rate hovers at about 20%, Krikorian said.
But because of the sheer size of the district's high-school student population of more than 9,000, that could still mean the district is losing hundreds of potential graduates every year, he said.
With the state paying districts more than $5,000 per student annually in attendance funding, that could mean more than $1 million every year in funding, he said.
If the district contracts with Advanced Path, it would be only the second district in the state to do so and the third such a program in the state, Escalante said.
"And if we can [develop] a good relationship with this company, it will pay for itself. Right now our biggest challenge will be to find an appropriate site."
There are at least two potential locations: one on the southeast side of the Glendale High School campus and one at the former Edison Elementary School site, he said.
Franklin will present a full report to the board at its July 15 meeting.
VINCE LOVATO covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at vincent.lovatolatimes.com.