Steps to Success

Steps to Success | A project of Tucson Unified's Dropout Prevention  | 3645 E. Pima St. (at Catalina), Tucson, AZ 85716 | (520) 232-8411 | Email Us

Planning the Event

Planning the event can be the most intimidating aspect for first time participants of Steps to Success. Again, remember that this is a framework for our event that we have built over time. We encourage other cities and districts to use the Steps to Success model in a way that best fits their needs and capabilities. Feel free to use these resources to help:

F.E.R.P.A. Concerns

Without question the biggest concern regarding Steps to Success has been questions of student confidentiality. In over 700 contacts, we have yet to run into any issues about the information handling policy.

  • All of our home visits are led by district employees that are in charge of student information
  • We require that all volunteers sign a Confidentiality Agreement (in PDF) that cites additional school board policy.
  • In our Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities, we have a section disclosing privacy rights, including a statement applying to Steps to Success (or other like events). Our statement is below:
    (3) The right to privacy of personally identifiable information in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. TUSD must obtain the written consent of the parent or eligible student prior to releasing personally identifiable information from the education records of a student, except in circumstances where federal and state law authorize disclosure without consent, such as disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by TUSD as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a Governing Board member; a person or company with whom TUSD has outsourced services or functions it would otherwise use its own employees to perform (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Step 4: Building a Framework

Below are some of the major areas that will require infrastructure. Remember that these can be built and expanded over time.
  • Student Information
    • List of targeted students
    • Confidentiality agreements
    • What to include in student dossiers for visits
  • Group Structure
    • TUSD's Group Structure:
      • team leader from district
      • one district/site administrator
      • one community member
    • Pre-prepared packets with student dossiers, resources for student and family, directions to home visits
    • Number of visits each group completes depends on distance from staging and clustering density
    • Plan to accommodate for language needs of families
  • Day of Staging
    • Itinerary of events (location, speakers, and orientation)
    • Food and beverage service
    • District or personal vehicles? (Tucson Unified uses both)
    • Staff for debriefing
  • Plotting Home Visits
    • Use GIS program to plot addresses (we use Google)
    • Cluster addresses for ideal time and distance
    • Assign zones to groups


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