My experiences have proven that the following student Dropout Prevention Strategies are extremely valuable for schools to implement:
1. Safe Learning Environment: Ensure that all safety plans are updated to include crisis team protocols. School-wide Anti-Bullying plans are in place and practiced throughout the year, in classrooms and throughout the school.
2. Family Engagement: Family involvement has a direct role on students success in school. Create opportunities for families to be involved in classrooms, activities, mentoring, etc. Work actively with the Parent/Teacher Organization to make this happen.
3. Community Involvement: Non-Profit and local Businesses have an investment in your school. Find ways to involve them with school partnering opportunities.
4. Start From the Beginning: Research has shown that interventions from birth to five years with additional enrichment can enhance brain development. The most effective way to reduce the chances of students dropping out of school is to provide the absolute best possible school experiences from pre-school through their primary grades.
5. Reading and Writing: Early reading and writing interventions will establish the necessary foundation for success in other content areas.
6. Mentoring and Tutoring: A trustful, one-to-one mentor can go a long way to helping students in all subject areas. Older students and/or adults in the community can be valuable resources.
7. Service Learning Opportunities: Connect with the community to create ways students can receive credit by their service work. This is a great school transformation effort for student learning. Career and Technical classes are an important resource for students in secondary schools for application and engagement.
8. Alternative School: Alternative options for students, to include on-line learning. This is a different path available for students to achieve their high school diploma.
9. After School Opportunities: Research proves that the more active and involved students are in school, the less likely they will be to leave. Provide links to sports, clubs and extra-curricular activities for kids.
10. Make The Most of Classroom Time: Meaningful instruction and DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIPS are what it’s all about!
- Give teachers adequate professional development in these areas. This is extremely important.
- Engaged Learners: There are many ways to learn. We are long past the era of teachers being the “keeper of all knowledge”. Project based learning and Flipping the classroom are examples.
- Technology: Skype, tablets, one-to-one, chrome books. Embed technology into the curriculum. A must with 21st century learning.
- Differentiated Instruction: Teach each child, every day. Consistent and monotonous worksheet and textbook activities do not work for the student learning our kids must have in the 21st century.