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What You Can Do

Tips for Educators and School Administrators

Act early so students do not drop out. Develop high-quality, universal preschool and full-day kindergarten, strong elementary programs that ensure students are doing grade-level work when they enter middle school, and middle school programs that address causes of dropping out that appear in these grades and ensure that students have access to algebra, science, and other courses they need to do well in high school and beyond.

  • Support and advocate for policies and resources for quality, voluntary, universal preschool and pre-K programs.
  • Actively involve families in students' learning at school and at home in new and creative ways, so that all families can support their children's academic achievement.
  • Inform parents so they can support homework completion, academic achievement, and healthy behaviors.
  • Develop rigorous and engaging coursework that excites and engages students.
  • Become an advocate and a partner for an at-risk student.

Make sure students receive individual attention in safe schools, in smaller learning communities within large schools, in small classes (18 or fewer students), and in programs that provide tutoring and build on what students learn during the school day, during the summer, on Saturday, and before and after school.

  • Work with school staff, parents, and students on the development of individual graduation plans for students.
  • Monitor students' academic progress throughout the year.
  • Make sure educators have the training and resources they need to prevent drop outs, including professional development focused on the needs of diverse students and students who are at risk of dropping out.
  • Continue to advocate for smaller class sizes.

Expand students' graduation options through creative partnerships with community colleges in career and technical fields and with alternative schools so that students have another way to earn a high school diploma. For students who are incarcerated, tie their release to high school graduation at the end of their sentences.

  • Promote the creation of high schools that offer flexibility and individual attention to each student, including an advisor and individualized graduation plans that provide students with a variety of paths leading to graduation.
  • Increase career education and workforce readiness programs in schools so that students see the connection between school and careers after graduation.
  • Work to increase opportunities for high schools to partner with community colleges that offer two-year degrees to high school students, especially in career and technical areas.

Establish high school graduation centers for students 19-21 years old to provide the specialized instruction and counseling to all students in this older age group who would be more effectively addressed in classes apart from younger students.

  • Encourage implementation of school-based and school district-based dropout prevention plans that apply multiple proven strategies.
  • Advocate for alternative schools for students with continued discipline problems.