Strategies for student retention

There is no sure-fire strategy that will turn a student around or make him/her interested in their studies, but some literature does indicate that the effective practices for students with poor grades can be vastly different than for other students. This includes the involvement of parents and their interest in the education of their children by staying in contact with the child’s teachers, overseeing his/her homework including continuous and effective communication. Schools that genuinely would like to help these students must stop negative practices such as grade retention and other practices that prevent students from reaching their full potential at any time.  

This requires strategies that are according to the age and mental capacities of the student(s), pre-school teaching and participation in early developmental programs which work much better than waiting for the child to experience difficulties before makes efforts to help him/her and other innovative approaches. A lot of research has effectively proved that grade retention is not an effective way to address the problems of students who are doing poorly at school and have been retained in the 9th grade once or more than once. These students have emotional or behavioral problems that need to be addressed to make them interested in their studies, not be absent from school and achieve academic success.

Teachers are advised to cooperate with and seek the advice of educational professionals and the help of parents and other civic and communal agencies to find alternatives to retention which includes combining evidence-based practices into school policies so that all students enhance academic outcomes and complete their education. Students who drop out of high school usually lack self-esteem. Teachers can address this problem by helping to build the confidence of such students in his or her abilities. With a little encouragement from a caring teacher, some students find the will to keep going until graduation.

Students, who are having a hard time and falling behind their peers, drop out of school because they feel helpless.  Teachers can prevent this from happening by working with the student individually to help him or her catch up to the rest of the class. This could involve special tutoring, giving extra make-up work or offering extra credit. If the teacher doesn’t have time to work with the student, he/she can also refer the student to some other tutor or mentor. This process will dramatically reverse the dropout rate for high school students.