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Steps to Success walk encourages Tucson students to come back to school

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  • Stefanie Boe/Tucson Unified School District

With TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez And Former TUSD Student David Forster At A Steps To Success Walk, July 2014. David’s Was One Of The Doors We Knocked On. Since Then, He’s Re-enrolled, Graduated From High School, And Appeared In A KUAT Video. [Photo: Jes Rubalcava, TUSD]

Volunteers from Tucson Unified School District, the City of Tucson’s mayor’s office and other partner organizations will be going on the third Steps to Success walk on Friday, July 31, to reach out to children who have given up on education.

The teams will visit the homes of about 400 children. In the two previous walks combined, Steps to Success has brought more than 230 children back to school, and 31 have graduated so far. The first Steps to Success walk was in July 2014, and the second was in January.

Steps to Success walk encourages Tucson students to come back to school TucsonUnifiedStepsToSuccessWalkInside

With TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez and former TUSD student David Forster at a Steps to Success walk, July 2014. David’s was one of the doors we knocked on. Since then, he’s re-enrolled, graduated from high school, and appeared in a KUAT video. [Photo: Jes Rubalcava, TUSD]

Superintendent H.T. Sanchez and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will be among volunteers who will visit homes between 8 a.m. and Noon on Friday.

Volunteers will be paired with a dropout prevention specialist and a Tucson Unified employee. They will visit students who are close to having enough credits as well as some who have more work to do.

After each walk, the district’s Dropout Prevention department follows up with the families that are contacted. This year, not only will each student be contacted again, all students who return to school will get a mentor to help them through.

John Kramkowski, a member of TUSD’s dropout prevention team, said the Steps to Success program has been a valuable initiative for all involved.

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Tucson Unified Superintendent H.T. Sanchez, left, and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, center, talk with a parent during the Steps to Success walk in January 2015. Photo courtesy Tucson Unified

“We have had immense success with volunteers and have had immense success especially with students and parents,” he said.

Dr. Sanchez says the district owes it to students to help them find their way back.

“Children who can’t see the value of a high school education or who face obstacles that seem impossible need to know that we can help them,” Sanchez says. “We need see them face-to-face and show them that they can come back, that we care about them and that want to see them succeed.”

For more information about the walk and dropout prevention, please call 520-232-8411.

Tucson Unified School District is Southern Arizona’s largest district, educating more than 50,000 students.

TUSD offers extensive learning opportunities for children, including Advanced Placement, GATE and International Baccalaureate, free full-day kindergarten, a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), studies in seven world languages, fine arts, before and after school programs, and more.

TUSD has proudly served Tucson families since 1867.

Video: Tucson Unified School District’s Step to Success – January 9, 2015