The transition to high school from junior high was challenging for Serina V. The schoolwork became more demanding, and she found it hard to get extra help. “Everything got harder and nobody tried to understand where I needed the help. Everyone just wanted to get through the class,” said Serina, age 17, who was on the verge of dropping out.

October was designated as Dropout Prevention Month because it’s about the time in the school year when struggling students find they are too far behind and have little hope of graduating on time with their classmates – so they drop out.

Fortunately, Serina transferred to Learn4Life and with our flexible, she could go at her own pace and soon flourished. “My school is very homey,” she explained. “Just the way the teachers speak to us and address us every day. They understand where I was coming from and where I needed the extra help.”

We are often a last option for teens who need more attention and a program that fits their learning style. Here are some tips for parents of students who may be falling behind.

  • Be involved in your child’s education. Research consistently finds that family engagement has a direct, positive effect on children’s achievement and is the most accurate predictor of a student’s success in school.[1]
  • Consider an alternative school that offers a variety of options that can lead to graduation. Every student has a different learning style, so look for programs that serve the student’s individual social needs and academic requirements.
  • See what type of career technical classes (CTE) are available. Exploring IT, healthcare, robotics, construction or other classes may keep students excited about going to school. We’ve found that students enrolled in CTE do better in school overall.
  • Know if your student is missing class, intervene as soon as possible. Dig deep to find out why they are skipping and work on resolving those issues. Talk with your child’s teachers, principal and counselor to determine the best course of action.
  • Remind your student that earning a high school diploma means they’re more likely to have a longer life, increased employment opportunities and more money over their lifetime. Talk about personal goals they want to reach. Then, help them identify how much time is needed to work on that goal each day.


[1] National Dropout Prevention Center

Written By:
Ann Abajian