This project explores factors contributing to both graduation and dropout in the district. It includes quantitative analysis of data known from the literature to be related to school graduation and dropout, and takes into account local variables of importance. The project also incorporates qualitative data analysis. It entails identifying and interviewing students who dropped out of the district, as well as those who graduated despite having risk factors for dropping out. The responses will help determine not only what contributes to a student’s decision to dropout, but also what factors can help keep a student in school until graduation. This knowledge will help the district support previously developed approaches with additional information as well as address newly found issues in ways consistent with the literature and current best practices.
The result of this work will provide the district with a detailed and specific portrait of their dropout and graduation situation. These results can be used to better inform current programs aiming to reduce dropout and improve the graduation rate. The results could also provide strong evidence for future grant applications and to secure funding specifically designated for increasing the graduation rate and targeting students at risk for dropping out. By understanding the particular conditions that students in the district face, the district will be better positioned to ensure that they are providing the best opportunity for all students to graduate. The specific deliverables that will result from this project are summarized below.