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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
Table of Contents
Statement of the Problem
Members of Planning Committee: Leadership Team
Initial Meeting and Future Meetings
Strategic Communication to Share Plan
Communication of Results/Outcomes
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:
Students per Teacher Ratio 16.4:1
Economically Disadvantaged 51.3%
Breakdown by Ethnicity for Students –
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
A partial basement housed classrooms for agriculture and science classes
Description of community
Businesses in area
Computer and electronics
Food and dining
Home – indoor/outdoor
Travel and recreation
Health and personal care
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)
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
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
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)
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.
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).
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.
The following Scanning tools were utilized to perform the SWOT Analysis.
Results from School Tutoring Program
School report card for last 5 years
Failure report (by semester)
School staff support and see the need for the plan
Funding available for new programs
Technology available for new programs
Title 1 School
School Improvement Plan
Lack of skills among teachers to identify at-risk students
Lack parental involvement
Banana Thinking (Faculty and Staff
Low student morale
Training in RTI model
Process of determining AYP changes yearly
Technology – ability to use online programs and virtual programs
After school tutoring
CTAE Programs (School to Work)
Opportunities for Parent Involvement
Tutoring for Parents
High poverty rate
Parent education level
Education a low priority
Banana Thinking (Community members)
Lack of internet access
Gangs (peer pressure)
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.
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