Personal Motivators for At-Risk Ohio Freshmen
This story in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer highlights a statewide effort in 35 Ohio school districts to help a few hundred freshman boys graduate. The program targets boys who have at least one of four factors that deem students "at-risk" for dropping out--being overage, having failed two major courses in eighth grade, having been suspended, or having been frequently absent.
Each student in the program meets with a "personal motivator" every couple of weeks for encouragement and guidance. Every school that participates also has a "graduation action team" that consists of teachers, parents, clergy, and representatives from the business and social services communities, who meet frequently to monitor the program's progress.
It's too early to tell whether this program will be effective, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on. In my opinion, it can't hurt to put a system in place that requires students to assess their academic progress every two weeks, and getting the community involved is another positive way to keep students motivated.