A Plan to Decrease the Dropout Rate among School Students

Published:

SCENERIO

ABC High School has seen a dramatic increase in the number of students who are choosing to drop out of school over the past decade. The reasons are limitless. They range from failure to identify students who may be at risk of dropping out, to inadequate academic programming to accommodate at risk students, to lack of parental concern and involvement. Therefore, the Academic Council has developed a comprehensive plan that will address the issue of the student dropout rate and provide goals and actions to take to decrease the dropout rate among our high school students. For the purpose of this writing, dropout rate is defined as the rate at which students withdraw from school during grades nine through twelve and who do not attain a General Education Degree (GED).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title

Scenario

Table of Contents

Demographics

Background

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Statement of the Problem

Members of Planning Committee: Leadership Team

Initial Meeting and Future Meetings

Mission Belief/Statement

Parameters

Scanning Tools

SWOT Analysis

Literature Review

Goals

Strategic Communication to Share Plan

Action Teams

Action Plans

Communication of Results/Outcomes

Future Recommendations

References/Bibliography

Appendix/Appendices

DEMOGRAPHICS

ABC High School is located at 1234 School Way, Your Town, GA; a rural area in the North Georgia mountains. The student population is comprised of the following:

Enrollment 1997

Students per Teacher Ratio 16.4:1

Economically Disadvantaged 51.3%

Breakdown by Ethnicity for Students -

White 84.0%

Black 0.4%

Hispanic 13.7%

Asian/Pacific Islander 0.5%

American Indian/Alaska Native 0.2%

Number of students eligible for free and/or reduced meals 1116

Number of teachers 128

Degrees held by teachers

Bachelor's Degree 45.1%

Master's Degree 34.2%

Master's Degree + 30 Hours 15.3%

Doctoral Degree 2.7%

Description of organization

Began in 1934 with 300 students and 13 teachers

Eight classrooms

Small library

Office

A partial basement housed classrooms for agriculture and science classes

Description of community

Businesses in area

Automotive repair

Carpet industry

Computer and electronics

Food and dining

Home - indoor/outdoor

Real estate

Travel and recreation

Business services

Community services

Finance

Health and personal care

Legal

Shopping

Religious entities

26 churches in ABC High School area

Baptist (includes Southern Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Independent Baptist), Methodist, Pentecostal, and Non-Denominational

Other educational facilities

1 four-year college within 30 miles of ABC High School

Community celebrations (what's important in this area)

Sporting events

Town festivals

Parent educational levels

Number of people who have achieved the following levels of education:

No high school 3316

Some high school 4601

Some college 3726

Associates Degree 967

Bachelor's Degree 1321

Graduate Degree 695

BACKGROUND

The dropout rate among high school students has steadily increased over the past decade. In several of the largest school systems across the country half of the students are dropping out (Thomas and Date, 2006). Some of the contributing factors to this increase are a lack of appropriate measures to identify students who may be at risk of dropping out, a lack of adequate and appropriate programs that will foster academic achievement for at-risk high school students, and a failure to educate parents on the importance of their participation in the education process of their child. What events have occurred over the past decade that affected the dropout rate? There are less stringent consequences for students who do not attend school, as well for parents who do not actively participate in the educational progress of their child. There is a decrease in parental involvement, due in part to mothers returning to the workforce. There is an increase in the occurrence of teen pregnancy and teen parenthood.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The statement of the problem is: The dropout rate among students at ABC High School has steadily increased over the past decade. This is a problem because students who drop out of high school seldom complete their education, either by returning to school or attaining a GED (General Education Degree). These students may find it more difficult to get jobs; therefore, they could become a burden on the society in which they live. Students who drop out of high school may have a greater chance of becoming involved in criminal activity (Monrad, 2007).

MEMBERS OF PLANNING COMMITTEE: LEADERSHIP TEAM

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The members of the planning committee include the following:

School principals ( 4 - includes Assistant Principals)

School counselors ( 4 - includes all grade level counselors)

Department chairs ( 7 - includes Language Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Math, Vocational, Fine Arts, Special Education, and Athletics)

Teachers ( 4 - includes one from each grade level)

Curriculum director (1)

Graduation coach (1)

Business leaders ( 3 - includes clergy)

Parents (2)

Director of Youth Detention Center (1)

INITIAL MEETING AND FUTURE MEETINGS

The initial meeting will take place in the serene atmosphere of the Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The three-day workshop will be housed in the Inn on Biltmore Estate Conference Center. This event will be funded with Title I monies and will include a Day Pass to tour the Biltmore Estate. The Agenda for the three-day workshop is attached to this document. Future meetings will be held the first Thursday of each month, excluding June and July. These meetings will be held in various venues throughout the area. Such meeting places will include the Recreational Complex Conference Room, the Courthouse, several churches, and the town's historical hotel. Topics to be discussed at future meetings will include progress on planning process, stakeholder input, goals, and action plan progress.

MISSION/BELIEF STATEMENT

The mission of ABC High School is to create an educational environment that will promote a partnership with parents, communities, and technology to enhance the development of our students, focusing on the skills that build character, decision making, and lifelong learning (Adopted from Wayne County, MS).

PARAMETERS

Some of the parameters that have to be analyzed during this planning process include:

The legal age a student can withdraw from school is 16 years, with parental consent.

There is a lack of stringent consequences for parents who do not actively participate in meetings concerning their child's educational progress.

The school board must approve most curriculum/program changes.

SCAN TOOLS

The following Scanning tools were utilized to perform the SWOT Analysis.

Parent survey

Teacher survey

Student survey

Community survey

Observations

Test scores

Attendance records

Discipline records

Auditing records

Results from School Tutoring Program

Poverty index

School report card for last 5 years

AYP report

Failure report (by semester)

Demographic Study

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

Weaknesses

School staff support and see the need for the plan

Funding available for new programs

Technology available for new programs

Title 1 School

Vocational Opportunities

School Improvement Plan

Lack of skills among teachers to identify at-risk students

Student motivation

Lack parental involvement

Banana Thinking (Faculty and Staff

Student Achievement

Communication

Low student morale

Graduation Rate

Training in RTI model

Process of determining AYP changes yearly

Opportunities

Threats

Technology - ability to use online programs and virtual programs

After school tutoring

CTAE Programs (School to Work)

Business Support

Opportunities for Parent Involvement

Extra-curricular Activities

Tutoring for Parents

High poverty rate

Parent education level

Education a low priority

Banana Thinking (Community members)

NCLB

Economy

Lack of internet access

Gangs (peer pressure)

LITERATURE REVIEW

GOALS

The Academic Council has established the following goals in the process of creating the comprehensive plan to decrease the dropout rate among high school students. The goals include a short term goal, an intermediate goal, and a long-term goal.

Short-term goal: Establish a system to identify high school students who are potential drop outs. This goal will be accomplished immediately; within the first 30 days.