The Mission of New Mexico Grads
NM GRADS (Graduation, Reality, And Dual-role Skills) is a statewide program for expectant and parenting teens located in 25 sites in the state. The NM GRADS removes barriers to assist expectant and parenting youth to become successful students and parents. GRADS facilitates graduation and the pursuit of higher education and/or employment, provides case management, promotes multi-generational parenting skills, fosters leadership ad self-sufficiency, and educates students on ways to reduce risk taking behaviors for their entire family.
18,950 young parents have been served since 1989.
The average graduation rate for teen moms enrolled in NM GRADS the past 5 years is 77%.
Please visit the NM GRADS website here: http://nmgrads.org/
GRADS Response to COVID19
When the schools went to virtual learning in March 2020, it impacted service delivery to the EPY participating in the GRADS program, because face to face services were no longer possible. GRADS teachers implemented proactive and innovative strategies to maintain ongoing contact with GRADS participants through virtual support to help them meet immediate needs. GRADS teachers and case managers responded to COVID-19 by consistently contacting via phone and text and providing support to address basic needs for baby items, food, and resources for online education. GRADS teachers were in contact with each student at least once during COVID-19 school closures and successfully contacted most students weekly or bi-weekly.
Teachers used online platforms such as Google Classroom, Canvas, and Zoom to continue implementing the GRADS curriculum and connecting with students. Innovative strategies included weekly pick-up/drop-off of basic need items such as food, diapers, and baby formula; Easter baskets with learning activities; and socially-distanced graduation ceremonies. Teachers provided weekly support around issues such as developing a schedule for young parents and their children, mental health and telehealth referrals, accessing online education, internet connectivity, and relationship issues.
Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972:
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is responsible for enforcing laws prohibiting discrimination in federally assisted educational programs and activities. These laws include Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities. All public and private educational institutions that receive any federal financial assistance (“schools”) must comply with this law. (Note, however, that an educational institution that is controlled by a religious organization is exempt from Title IX when the law’s requirements would conflict with the organization’s religious tenets.1) Title IX protects students in all of the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs or activities of schools. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students.
President Obama has set the ambitious goal that by 2020 the United States will lead the world in the proportion of persons who graduate from college.2 In order to achieve this goal, we must support every student in completing high school, so he or she is ready for college or a career. To this end, it is imperative that we all work to ensure that pregnant and parenting students are not discriminated against as they strive to stay in school. With our help, young parents can graduate from high school ready for further success, instead of dropping out of school as a result of practices that make it difficult for them to succeed. OCR is committed to helping achieve this goal.
National Women’s Law Center Title IX Tool Kit Pregnancy discrimination is sex discrimination and it is against the law. Advocating for fair policies that eliminate sex discrimination should be a priority for anyone who cares about school equity and ensuring access to a quality education for all students. Below we provide a number of resources and tools to help advocates organize in their community.
SHARE New Mexico provides access to up-to-date information including programs and policies, challenges and successes in addressing critical issues in our state. Find out how you can get involved and support change.