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ASN Newsletter

 

Vision

Mission

The Alternative Schools Network envisions a global community where every individual has access to equal educational and employment opportunities.

Working in partnership with community-based organizations & schools, the Alternative Schools Network will re-engage a diverse community of learners to actualize their true academic potential & personal goals by promoting educational innovation, workforce opportunities & civic participation for future leadership and service.

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Hollywood Nights
Red Carpet Prom 2014


As research has shown, youth who are engaged in their lives have significantly reduced opportunities and desire to participate in destructive interactions or illicit activities. While Prom Night may occur only once per year, the planning, anticipation and preparation for Prom begins far in advance and occupies much time and attention, thus reducing the chance of exposure to violence.

Many of these youth never dreamed they would have a chance to attend a high school Prom. Yet ASN has made Prom Night a reality that is imaginable and attainable. As a result, Prom is considered a privilege, a once-in-a-lifetime, pivotal event with such significance that students are willing to rise above differences and comply with a zero-tolerance expectation of no violence, or even displays of anger, at the Prom.

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Every May for the past 15 years, between 800 and 900 students from the majority of ASN’s member high schools cross gang lines, territories and neighborhoods to converge at the Chicago Sheraton downtown for a celebratory Prom Night. While bringing together youth from so many rival areas can frequently create opposition, no violence or gang issues have occurred.

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Congratulations to Prologue Early College High School for winning the 2014 ASN basketball championship! We would like to thank all the schools who participated in the 2014 ASN basketball season. Check out the pictures from the hard fought championship game between Prologue Early College High School and Innovations High School of Arts Integration!

In 2007, ASN began an ongoing partnership with Community TV Network (CTVN), a national leader on engaging youth for more than 40 years, to introduce the Chicago Youth Community Film Project: “Reel Look” which culminates each year with a screening of the students’ creative use of video storytelling to bring societal issues youth face every day to the forefront of discussions.

Featuring acclaimed favorites from CTVN's classes in Alternative High Schools all over Chicago.

As Reel Look has evolved over the years, students are seeing how far their voice can travel as they reach more audiences and influencers. As a result, youth are using their films as a jumping off point to take their messages beyond the walls of ASN member schools to advocate for action.

Dropouts Matter

In Chicago, nearly 40,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 20 and approximately 97,000 youth ages 16 to 24 are high school dropouts. These teens and young adults often find their personal circumstances too insurmountable to overcome on their own in order to stay in school.

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Job Loss


High school dropouts are less likely to receive skills and experience needed for employment, which also impacts the development of the future workforce. In 2001, only 55% of young adult dropouts were employed (nationally), compared with 74% of high school graduates and 87% of four-year college graduates.

Prison Pipeline


Dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be incarcerated in their lifetime.  90% of the 11,000 youth in adult detention facilities have no more than a 9th grade education.

Tax Revenue Loss

 

Dropouts earn less over their lifetime which equates to fewer tax contributions for the community. They also contribute to the state and federal tax coffers at only about one-half the rate of high school graduates; over a working lifetime about $60,000 or less, or $50 billion annually for the 23 million high school non-completers, ages 18-67.

 

Taxpayer Costs

 

Over the lifetime of each dropout, taxpayers bear the cost of approximately $290,000 due to loss of tax contributions, increased public assistance costs and correctional costs. Dropouts are substantially more likely to rely on public assistance than those with a high school diploma.

ASN serves as a conduit for the work of its member schools and community-based programs, connecting the mission, goals, strategies and outcomes to create a unified community of active participants in programming. Through this role, ASN is able to link the voices of its partner communities to marshal resources and expertise that will improve the outcomes for its target populations.