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Best Practice Guide for School and District Leaders

The Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement within the Colorado Department of Education was created pursuant to HB 09-1243 (22-14-103) and was established October 1, 2009. The authorizing legislation calls for the development of a Best Practice Guide.

This guide, which is a compilation of research and articles recommended by the Colorado Department of Education, is meant to be a resource for districts and communities to help end the dropout crisis in America by starting at the local level. It is meant to inspire and encourage a spirit of change, by bringing to light how “do-able” it really is to keep students in school. By increasing community will and capacity locally, we can make strides in the right direction towards keeping all kids in school, “one step at a time.”

The primary purpose is for school districts, school leaders, teachers and staff; to assist them moving forward in the creation of a Student Graduation and Completion Plan. These plans will be developed in an effort to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates. According to the members of the Prevention Network at the Colorado Department of Education, school and district leaders stated a need for “information on practical ways to implement dropout prevention and recovery strategies and best practices” into their schools. Therefore, the best practice guide intends to be a practical resource for schools and districts, addressing barriers and challenges that may interfere with implementing a successful dropout prevention and/or recovery program.

The secondary purpose of the Best Practice Guide is to provide information about what is currently happening in the nation and in the state of Colorado regarding dropout prevention and student re-engagement to CDE Leadership and Legislators. It shall also serve as a tool to promote general awareness about the dropout issue to the citizens of Colorado and encourage community-school partnerships in an effort to end the dropout dilemma.

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