Dropout Prevention/At-Risk Students

The Minnesota Department of Education works to support academic achievement for all youth, close the achievement gap, and increase graduation rates. In 2014, fewer than 80 percent of Minnesota students (who started ninth grade in 2010) graduated with a high school diploma. This overall rate demands improvement, but increased attention must also be given to critical graduation rates for students with disabilities, students living in poverty, students of color, and English language learners. The intent is not just to raise graduation rates, but to engage children and youth in school and learning, thus ensuring they graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully meet the challenges life brings.

Graduation is the goal–student learning and engagement comes first. The bottom line in dropout prevention is early identification of students at-risk for not graduating in four years. Then, using multi-tiered systems of support, effective strategies can be implemented to better engage students in school and in learning. The Minnesota Department of Education supports school districts, families and other state and community agencies that are dedicated to successful learning outcomes by focusing on the following priorities to raise graduation rates:
 
Closing the Gap: Collaborating to effectively increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates for all students.

Data Driven Decision-Making:
  Using data to provide effective supports to students who are disengaging from school and learning. 

Engagement, Recovery and Re-Engagement:
  Developing and implementing effective programs to keep youth in school and identify and encourage youth who have already dropped out of school to reenter school and complete high school.

Individualized Student Planning for the Future: 
Providing effective and accessible programming and resources for schools, families and students to facilitate high school completion and postsecondary success.

Collaboration: 
Working together to embed Minnesota’s goal of graduation for all and action steps into any child or youth-focused program or initiative.
 
Many of these priorities are also the focus of GradMinnesota, a collaborative effort to increase the overall four-year cohort graduation rate for all Minnesota students to 90 percent by 2020. Over the past year, representatives from more than 50 state agencies, schools and community organizations have been collaborating to analyze issues, determine programs and practices that work to engage students and identify policy changes to better serve Minnesota youth. Visit the Minnesota Alliance With Youth for more information.