Dropout Reduction: Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery
Legislation and Regulations
Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012, Section 8: Chapter 222: An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School includes requirements for conducting an exit interview with students who intend to leave school prior to graduation (i.e., students who plan to drop out). The following resources are intended to support district's implementation of this process. Districts are encouraged to use these resources "as-is"; or adapt as they see appropriate to their local context.
The High School Exit Intervention Model Protocol includes all of the required exit interview steps described in Chapter 222. The model protocol expands beyond the statute requirements and also describes additional best practices garnered from Massachusetts schools and nationally.
The Impact of Dropping Out Student Flyer is a brief resource that can be shared with students and their families as part of the exit intervention process to share the potential negative impacts of dropping out of high school.
The Impact of Dropping Out Staff Resources Summary provides a summary of research findings on the impacts of dropping out, listed by the following categories: personal income and employment, economy, crime, literacy, health, and family formation. Following the summary of findings is a listing of references.
The Alternative Education Resources and Other Academic Options Overview provides brief descriptions of education options available in Massachusetts, including those that are specifically designed for students who are struggling academically, who are at-risk for dropping out, or who are interested in returning to high school.
Mass. General Laws Chapter 76, Section 18: Notice to parent or guardian and meeting with school committee prerequisite to student permanently leaving school; annual report; application of section states that no student age 16 or older shall be considered to have permanently left public school unless a school administrator has sent notice to the student's parent or guardian inviting the parent/guardian and student to a meeting to discuss educational options available to the student.
The intent of this law, which has been in effect since 1973, is to encourage schools to reach out to parents or guardians of students at risk of dropping out, by inviting the parent/guardian and the student to meet with a school administrator or counselor to discuss the educational options that are available.
Mass. General Laws Chapter 69: Section 1N: Alternative education grant program establishes two grant programs - one for grants to public school districts to establish or expand Alternative Education programs or schools and the second for grants to school districts to create safe and supportive learning environments through in-school violence prevention programs and addressing the needs of students exposed to violence.
Chapter 315 of the Acts of 2008: An Act to Improve Dropout Prevention and Reporting of Graduation Rates establishes a graduation and dropout prevention and recovery commission to survey dropout prevention and recovery best practices and programs nationwide and to evaluate dropout prevention and recovery programs currently in use. The Commission is required to submit a final report with recommendations on ten topic areas by May 15, 2009. The Act also reinforces current Department of Elementary and Secondary Education policy regarding reporting high school dropout and graduation rate data.
Required Annual Notice for Two Years After Students Leave School Without a Diploma. Starting in school year 2006-07, there is a Department requirement that all Massachusetts public school districts serving students in high school grades provide annual written notice to former students who have not yet earned their competency determinations, and who have not transferred to another school: (i) to inform them of the availability of publicly funded post-high school academic support programs, and (ii) to encourage them to participate in those programs. At a minimum, a district must send annual written notice by first class mail to the last known address of each such student who attended a high school in the district within the past two years.