American Graduate

American Graduate is a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis. 

High School Graduation — America's Moral Imperative!

American GraduateThe high school drop out rate in America is staggering. And we know each drop out will adversely effect our economy. High school drop outs earn less money, are more likely to use social services, and are more likely to be incarcerated.
Looking Up From the Bottom:
It seems that Nevada is always on the bottom of the good lists and the top of the bad lists - especially in education. But there are people making a difference. The KNPB local production Looking Up From the Bottom about how a few people are making a big difference is now available for online streaming at
Options for Parents:
If you know a young adult in danger of dropping out here are some of the options available in the school district:

  • Wolf online high school (degrees or individual classes)
  • PLATO (online classes offered in the high school)
  • AACT (juniors and seniors learn a trade and get a high school diploma)
  • Washoe High School (alternative learning environment)
  • Truckee Meadows High School (earn a high school diploma and get college credit)
  • Re-engagement Centers (help drop outs transition back to school)
  • Parent Involvement Facilitators (there to help parents navigate the school system)

High School Signature Academies
; Washoe County School District's Signature Academies are an innovative approach to ensuring college and career readiness for all students. This initiative creates career and industry based programs at each comprehensive high school over the next four years. The Signature Academies will focus on specific programs such as arts, technology, health sciences, global studies, etc. This is a great way to match your child's passion with his/her high school education. For more information, go to the High School Signature Academy.

Contact your local school for more information. Or you can contact the Parent Involvement Facilitator (PIF) at many of the local high schools. They are the parent advocates in the school district.
Washoe County School District Resources: Parent University:
WCSD Parent University is a one-stop shop for parents! Find more than 200 classes offered that will help every family increase their knowledge of how to help their children succeed. 

Washoe County School District: Re-engagement Centers:
Re-engagement Centers have been created to help students take the first step to get back into school or keep students who are ready to drop out of school stay in school. This is a great place for parents and grandparents to find help. Read more about the Re-engagement Centers, and for more information or questions contact Rechelle Murillo at 353-6930
WCSD Community Resources:
The WCSD Community Resources website is designed to provide parents and administrators a place to find information on local organizations that can provide the resources they need.

Community Compact:
So what can an organization do PLENTY! The Community Compact is a non-profit organization that is spearheading an effort to get everyone in the community involved in the effort to improve graduation rates in the Reno area. They have a large list of suggestions on how you can get involved. Visit the Community Compact website and get involved!

The American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen

Support the American Graduate initiative:
If you wish to help or learn more about the American Graduate Project, contact:

Sara Anderson at or call 775.682.7917 or
Karen Karst-Hoskins at or call 775.682.7805 or 775.544.9061

Watch special American Graduate messages created by KNPB.