How to Help at Risk Students Graduate Essay
An ‘at-risk’ student is a young person at risk, or educationally disadvantaged, if they have been exposed to inadequate or inappropriate educational experiences in the family, school, or community. Many of these students are located in large, mainly urban high schools around the country (Balfanz, 2007). Urban high schools face five common problems: low student engagement, poor prior preparation, low ninth-grade promotion rate, low graduations rates, and isolation from the community (Herlihy & Kemple, 2004). When at-risk students are exposed to such environment everyday, they have a greater probability of dropping out of school (Princiotta & Ryan, 2009) Nationally, 1.3 million members of the public high school class of …show more content…
High schools around the country are looking towards creating small learning communities as a solution to current problems happening in urban high school. In A Big Idea: Smaller High Schools, the majority of American high school students attend schools that consists of more than 1500 students, which the majority of these schools are located in large urban or suburban areas. A traditional high school setting is too large for students to receive the guidance and nurturing that they may need during this stage of life (Shakrani, 2008). Students in large high schools lack the essential interactions with teachers and other staff because they tend to get lost in the crowd. This can be detrimental to at-risk students because they do not have the support they need to help them took excel in school (Howley et al, 2000).
Many schools are adapting the small learning communities model to help alleviate this problem. Some new schools are created for smaller populations however it is not cost effective. Instead schools are opting to create schools-within-schools as a means to save money. Researchers define school conversion as replacing the design, structure, governance and operation of a large