“The American family is the rock on which a solid education can be built. I have seen examples all over this nation where two-parent families, single parents, stepparents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are providing strong family support for their children to learn. If families teach the love of learning, it can make all the difference in the world to their children.”
-Former U.S Secretary of Education, Richard Riley
The National Parent Teacher Association has shown that when families are involved, students are more likely to:
- earn high grade-point averages and scores on standardized tests or rating scales
- enroll in more challenging academic programs
- pass more classes and earn more credits
- attend school regularly
- display positive attitudes about school
- graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary programs
- refrain from destructive activities such as alcohol and drug use and violence
Why do students drop out?
The decision to drop out is rarely the result of a single life event. A national survey of students who left school without graduating revealed that students experienced one or more of the following factors:
- Thought classes were not interesting
- Said they were not motivated to work hard
- Had to get a job and make money
- Became a parent
- Had to care for a family member
- Were failing classes
- Missed too many days of school and could not catch up
- Felt that they entered high school poorly prepared by earlier schooling
- Didn’t have school support that might have made a difference, such as tutoring or after school help
- Repeated at least one grade
- Had too much freedom in high school environment
- Had parents who were not aware or only somewhat aware of their child’s grades or that they were about to drop out of school
-The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts
Between June 2009 and October 2009, over 500 youth shared their opinions about school and life through our online youth survey. Click here to see what young people in your area and around the state had to say.
Ways that you can Drop IN to be part of the solution:
Family involvement in education can encompass many different types of activities. Some parents and families may have the time to become involved in many ways; while others may have restraints on their time because of their jobs, childcare, transportation, etc. Family involvement in education can include but is not limited to such things as:
-Suggestions compiled from The Role of Parents in Dropout Prevention
- Let your child know that you value education as important to his/her future.
- Get involved in PTA and other school activities.
- Help your child establish graduation as a priority. Keep track of the credits he/she needs in order to graduate.
- Maintain contact with your child’s teachers throughout middle and high school.
- Monitor school attendance. If your child is skipping school, it may be a warning sign that he/she is having trouble.
- Ask your child every night “how did school go today” and take the time to listen to their answers.
- Encourage your child to seek out extracurricular activities or employment where they can develop positive relationships and have success outside of a classroom setting. These activities can help your child feel part of the group, important to the school, and more motivated.
- Help your child explore career options that interest them and the education needed to be successful in those careers.
- Identify postsecondary goals. The most important questions to ask are: What interests your child? What is your child good at? Postsecondary technical training or two-year community college programs are appropriate paths to meeting employment goals. If attending a four-year college is the way to reach his/her vocational goal, put steps in place to make this happen.