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How Can I Help Students Thinking of Dropping Out of High School?

Dropping out of high school is a big deal, and ensuring students stay in school is crucially important. Here's some expert advice on helping these students.

Stephanie FarahStephanie Farah
Former Writer and Senior Editor
CollegeXpress
There’s rarely one single reason why a student wants to leave high school but rather several interrelated reasons. Dropping out isn’t necessarily indicative of a student’s lack of grit. On the contrary, many dropouts are especially resilient, but they need the help of supportive individuals to succeed. Young people often seek supportive connections from adults, and if they fail to find them, they tend to end up making poor decisions. So what can you do to help students stay in (or return to) school?

  • Listen to your students. Take the time to truly understand what they’re going through.
  • Surround high-need students with extra supports. Communities and schools should develop systems to help identify students who need extra attention and support to graduate.
  • Create a community to help students stay in school. Many students lack the support of parents or other family members, so communities and schools should find ways to step in and give the guidance they need.
  • Follow the evidence. Do some research, find out what works for other communities and schools, and follow suit. Once you find something that works, spread the word.
  • Place young people in central roles in designing and implementing solutions that’ll help their peers. Young people are highly impressionable and easily influenced by one another. Give your students a sense of purpose by creating opportunities for them to share their experiences and participate in efforts to boost graduation rates.

Help students learn how to be an active part in their own success with advice on utilizing a support network in high school and college.

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