National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Award


Note: this school works with Lake County Public Schools, which send over a hundred of their students to Alee each year. This is the schools fourth year in operation, and it will be breaking ground for a new campus this Fall in Eustis, FL. It is located on the southern boarder of the Ocala National Forest.

CLEMSON, S.C. - Alee Academy, a progressive alternative education charter school in Umatilla, was among the winning recipients of the annual Crystal Star of Excellence Awards in Dropout Recovery, Intervention and Prevention presented by the National Dropout Prevention Network, located at Clemson University.  The award was presented during the 14th Annual National Dropout

Prevention Network Conference awards breakfast in San Diego, California.

Alee Academy was chosen by the NDPN based on clear evidence of strong leadership in furthering the mission of the network and its outstanding contribution to effective dropout prevention strategies, research, and development.

Alee Academy has demonstrated the use of a variety of strategies shown to be effective in working with youth in at-risk situations. Strategies include direct teacher instruction, one-on-one tutoring, computer-assisted learning, field trips, individualized instruction, collaborative learning and work site training.  Graduation rates and test scores have increased each year that Alee has been in existence.

Mary Reimer, Information Resource Consultant

National Dropout Prevention Center
Clemson University
209 Martin Street
Clemson, SC 29631-1555
(864) 656-2676
(864) 656-0136 Fax

The purpose of the National Dropout Prevention Network (NDPN) Crystal Star Award of Excellence in Dropout Prevention, Recovery, Intervention, and Prevention

is to identify and bring national recognition to outstanding dropout prevention programs that have made significant contributions to the advancement of the mission

of the NDPN. The mission of the NDPN is to assist in reducing the number of youth dropping out of school by linking research and practice and by providing the most

current information about dropout prevention to educators, policy makers, community members, business people, labor groups, parents, and other concerned persons.

Alee Academy was one of three winners of the annual the Crystal Star Award of Excellence given by the NDPN for successful programs addressing the dropout

problem. The Crystal Star Award of Excellence was present during the national dropout prevention conference in San Diego, California. Other recipients were

the Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, Texas and the Wayne Enrichment Center, Metropolitan School District Wayne Township, Indianapolis, Indiana.

For a program to be recognized, there must be clear evidence of strong leadership in furthering the mission of the network and contribution to effective dropout prevention strategies, research or development. The NDPN board subcommittee judged the nationwide contest. They graded programs on their success and Alee Academy has for the past three years been working with at-risk students and has successfully returned 82 students to their zone schools for graduation.

Alee Academy successfully met the criteria for all fifteen of the exemplary practices as identified by the NDPN. These are:

  • Tutoring and study skills
  • Guidance
  • Parenting
  • Motivational Activities
  • Summer Acceleration
  • Technology
  • Staff Development
  • Individualized Instruction
  • Concentrated Reading and Writing
  • Community or Service Learning
  • Mentoring or Tutoring
  • Flexible Schedules and Alternative Settings
  • Case Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Community Collaboration