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Gainesville City Schools wins collaborative learning award
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The Gainesville City Schools system has received an award based on its work through a collaborative learning template from the University of California-Los Angeles.

“The nomination stated that we had improved achievement attendance (and) graduation rates while reducing dropouts, disciplinary referrals and incidences of teen pregnancy, bullying and drug abuse,” Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

Dyer was in Nashville on Friday to accept the Leadership for Learning Supports award on behalf of the school system at the National Conference on Education.

“While we have served as the test site for the learning supports framework, the consultancy and professional training has been invaluable,” she said of the program.

The Gainesville system is one of the few in the nation to be included in the Rebuilding for Learning program through the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools and Scholastic, the educational publishing company. Beginning in the late 2000s, the initiative emphasizes the work of the system being a true community school district.

Since the district committed to the guidelines six years ago, school officials have said the graduation rate increased from 73.3 percent to 87.2 percent in two years, while the percentage of students absent or tardy has decreased.

Gainesville’s been used as an example for the success of the program by Scholastic; it’s the same program Alabama now plans to implement in all of its public schools.

“We were noted for hosting other districts around the country,” Dyer said, “and working with the original collaborative partners.

“I am excited to see the work now being applied in districts around the country,” she added.

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