The transition to high school from junior high was challenging for Serina V. The schoolwork became more demanding, and she found it hard to get extra help. “Everything got harder and nobody tried to understand where I needed the help. Everyone just wanted to get through the class,” said Serina, age 17, who was on the verge of dropping out.

October was designated as Dropout Prevention Month because it’s about the time in the school year when struggling students find they are too far behind and have little hope of graduating on time with their classmates – so they drop out.

Fortunately, Serina transferred to Learn4Life, a public high school that offers personalized learning and one-on-one instruction. She soon began to flourish, and with the school’s flexible schedule, she could go at her own pace. “Learn4Life is very homey,” she explained. “Just the way the teachers speak to us and address us every day. They understand where I was coming from and where I needed the extra help.”

With more than 85 schools, Learn4Life often becomes a last option for teens who need more attention and a program that fits their learning style. They offer these tips to parents of students who may be falling behind.

Click to Tweet: Why do most students drop out in October? It’s when some kids struggle the most and feel too far behind to catch up. Here are tips to beat the fall funk in school #DropoutPreventionMonth #Learn4LifeSchools

  • Be involved in your child’s education. Research consistently finds that family engagement has a direct, positive effect on children’s achievement and is the most accurate predictor of a student’s success in school.[1]
  • Consider an alternative school that offers a variety of options that can lead to graduation. Every student has a different learning style, so look for programs that serve the student’s individual social needs and academic requirements.
  • Tutoring can benefit students who are struggling to catch up, and surprisingly quickly. In-person tutoring is preferred, but if schools are only offering online tutoring, students should take advantage.
  • If your school doesn’t offer free tutoring, there are often many options. Check with libraries, YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs and your local school district for free resources. Some schools partner with nearby colleges or universities where undergraduate students offer homework assistance for K-12 students.
  • See what type of career technical classes (CTE) are available. Exploring IT, healthcare, robotics, construction or other classes may keep students excited about going to school. Learn4Life has found that students enrolled in CTE do better in school overall.
  • Know if your student is missing class, intervene as soon as possible. Dig deep to find out why they are skipping and work on resolving those issues. Talk with your child’s teachers, principal and counselor to determine the best course of action.
  • Remind your student that earning a high school diploma means they’re more likely to have a longer life, increased employment opportunities and more money over their lifetime. Talk about personal goals they want to reach. Then, help them identify how much time is needed to work on that goal each day.

Find out more about how Learn4Life is saving dropouts and helping them change their stories.

[1] National Dropout Prevention Center

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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