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National High School Center Product Guide

Publication Title:

Approaches to Dropout Prevention: Heeding Early Warning Signs With Appropriate Interventions


Louise Kennelly and Maggie Monrad

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[PDF File, 1.46 Mb]

Alignment with ARRA:

ARRA areas aligning with this product:

  • Data Use
  • Standards/Assessment
  • Turnaround Schools

A major priority for the use of ARRA funds is to encourage data use and establish data systems to improve schools. This report discusses specific data indicators that can be used to identify students at risk for dropping out.

For more details on how ARRA funds can apply to dropout prevention and data systems, please view our ARRA resources on our ARRA Web page.

Publication Key Points:

This report outlines steps that schools can take to identify at-risk students and provide necessary support systems and interventions to keep students on track for graduation. It discusses the use of early warning data systems to target interventions, offers a variety of best practice approaches used in higher-performing high schools, and presents effective programs that are currently being implemented to address the dropout crisis.

Publication Key Challenges:

When students drop out of high school, the impact on their lives and the prosperity of their communities is significant. Researchers have found that risk factors for dropping out can be identified as early as sixth grade, with additional indicators emerging during the middle and high school years. This report provides strategies that states and districts can use to identify potential dropouts before they further disengage from school.

How Audience(s) Can Use This Product to Address Challenges:

This resource provides states and districts with strategies for identifying students at risk for dropping out and implementing practices that may help to re-engage those students and keep them on track for graduation.

Some suggested uses for this product are:

  • Distribute to state and district personnel responsible for data management and dropout prevention;
  • Share with state chapter of the National Middle School Association (NMSA), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and others; and/or
  • Use to develop a PowerPoint presentation for a meeting of a high-school-to-college/career transition team

Production Citation:

Kennelly, L., & Monrad, M. (2007, October). Approaches to dropout prevention: Heeding early warning signs with appropriate Interventions. Washington, DC: National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research.

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