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Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce High School Dropout Rates


1. Students who do not complete high school face economic and social challenges, and according to the authors, these may include unemployment, low earnings, involvement in criminal activity, need for public assistance, and:

A. Single parenting B. Missed opportunities C. Poor health D. Illiteracy

Overarching Themes

2. One overarching theme for preventing dropout in secondary schools is that a personalized learning environment facilitates stronger relationships between staff and students and helps students engage in school.

A. True B. False

Overview of the Recommendation

3. Expert recommendations to identify students at risk of dropping out and to address the challenges they face include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Monitor the progress of all students, and proactively intervene when students show early signs of attendance, behavior, or academic problems B. Provide cursory, generalized support to students who have fallen off track and face significant challenges to success C. Engage students by offering curricula and programs that connect schoolwork with college and career success and that improve their capacity to manage challenges in and out of school D. For schools with many at-risk students, create small, personalized communities to facilitate monitoring and support

4. Studies supporting the recommendations examined three key categories of outcomes related to dropout prevention: 1) satisfactory attendance, 2) school engagement, and 3) academic success.

A. True B. False

Recommendation 1

5. Regular monitoring of school data enables school staff to address issues contributing to dropout rates, such as courses with high failure rates, low attendance during particular periods, or suspension policies that increase absences.

A. True B. False

Steps to Carry Out the Recommendation

6. The “ABC” early indicators of which students are at risk for dropping out are attendance, behavior, and:

A. Course grades B. Commitment C. Connections D. Conflict

Intervene with Students Who Show Early Signs of Falling Off Track

7. Before planning an intervention to assist students at risk of dropping out, school personnel should complete a formal check-in with students to discuss changes in attitude, school performance, or behavioral health.

A. True B. False

If Data Show High Rates of Absenteeism, Take Steps

8. Chronic absenteeism is generally defined as missing at least 20% of the school year.

A. True B. False

Potential Obstacles to Implementing Recommendation 1 and the Panel’s Advice

9. Which of the following is an accurate statement about credit recovery?

A. Students are far more likely to stay on track and graduate if they pass courses, rather than taking credit-recovery courses B. Credit-recovery courses that are offered online may not provide students with the personal support and flexibility needed to understand the complex material with which they originally had difficulty C. Schools treat retention and credit recovery as a last resort for students who are academically behind D. All of the above

Recommendation 2

10. Intensive support may be needed to support students who are already off track, who have not responded to previous interventions, or who must overcome large personal obstacles.

A. True B. False

Steps to Carry Out the Recommendation

11. Responsibilities of case managers who assist students with multiple or acute needs include:

A. Building a strong relationship with the student and developing success plans for each student B. Monitoring the student’s attendance, behavior, and academic progress regularly C. Linking students to appropriate resources in the school and community, and coordinating these services D. Building a connection between students, families, and school personnel

12. Which is NOT one of the recommended suggestions when creating a menu of support for student behavior?

A. Provide social and emotional skills training B. Implement a weekly behavioral contract C. Provide individualized counseling sessions D. Provide peer monitoring

Potential Obstacles to Implementing Recommendation 2 and the Panel’s Advice

13. To ensure the acceptance of outside advocates and case managers in school settings, school administrators should provide strong support and clear delineation of roles.

A. True B. False

Recommendation 3

14. Students are engaged in school when they are interested in their classes and see them as important to their future, and when:

A. They feel they belong in school B. They feel their commitment to school is recognized C. They feel safe and secure D. Their self-belief is enhanced

Directly Connect Schoolwork to Students’ Options After High School

15. For students who are at risk for high school dropout, dual-enrollment college courses are not recommended, because the rigor may set them up for failure.

A. True B. False

Checklist for Effective Career-Focused Programs

16. In career focused programs, learning materials are chosen and adapted to focus on an industry that is connected to state and federal workforce needs.

A. True B. False

Provide Curricula and Programs that Help Students Build Supportive Relationships and Teach Students How to Manage Challenges

17. According to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the five key social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies that are important to student success in school and life are self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and:

A. Critical thinking B. Conflict resolution skills C. Adaptability D. Social awareness

Everyday Strategies for Teachers to Foster Student Engagement

18. Everyday strategies that teachers can implement to foster student engagement include acknowledging each student as they enter the classroom, praising effort and process, helping students set goals and monitor progress, and using an approach to classroom discipline that is:

A. Restorative-driven B. Self-directed C. Student-centered D. Group-focused

Regularly Assess Student Engagement to Identify Areas for Improvement

19. School climate and student engagement surveys can be used to supplement early warning indicators, helping staff identify the root cause behind low attendance rates or slipping grades.

A. True B. False

Potential Obstacles to Implementing Recommendation 3 and the Panel’s Advice

20. The expert panel recommends that schools hire special staff to oversee social/emotional skill building program implementation.

A. True B. False

Recommedation 4

21. By creating small, personalized communities for at-risk students, staff can check in with the students more frequently, pay closer attention to their needs, form stronger and more meaningful relationships with them, and:

A. Provide academic support B. Assist in crisis situations C. Help foster parental support D. Keep track of what troubles and motivates them

22. Being a small school in and of itself is not sufficient to address dropout issues, but rather the key is to create a more personalized, supportive learning environment for the students who are struggling.

A. True B. False

Steps to Carry Out the Recommendation

23. When developing small communities, first steps include deciding whether the small communities will serve a single grade or multiple grades, and creating teams of teachers that share common groups of students.

A. True B. False

24. Small school communities should be organized around a specified outcome, as this will strengthen the community and help facilitate the necessary steps.

A. True B. False

25. The master schedule in small-school community should enable teachers and students to remain in their community for the majority of the day, and students should take most, if not all, courses from teachers in their communities.

A. True B. False

Potential Obstacles to Implementing Recommendation 4 and the Panel’s Advice

26. Before students and parents choose which community to join, students should reflect on their:

A. Academic strengths and goals B. Interests, skills, and career aspirations C. Previous accomplishments and successes D. View of themselves in the school environment and in the world around them

Appendix A- Table A.1. Institute of Education Sciences Levels of Evidence for What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guides

27. The criteria used to determine the level of evidence for the expert panel’s recommendations includes validity, effects on outcomes, relevance to scope, relationship between research and recommendations, panel confidence, assessment factors, and:

A. Consistency and reliability B. If the evidence is useful and applicable C. The role of expert opinion D. None of the above

Appendix D

28. Sample outcomes that demonstrate the domain of school progression and therefore may be of interest to educators who are implementing dropout prevention practices include each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Number of days enrolled/in attendance B. Number of high school course credits earned C. Promotion to the next grade D. Highest grade student completed

Recommendation 3- Consistency of Effects on Relevant Outcomes

29. Studies that examined the impact of engaging students by offering programs that connect schoolwork with college and career success and that improve students’ capacity to manage challenges demonstrated consistent positive effects in the graduating school domain.

A. True B. False

Recommendation 4

30. One strength of the numerous studies examining the impact of developing small, personalized communities to help monitor at-risk students was that they were all able to develop the small communities within their existing schools.

A. True B. False

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