Innovative Practices for School Completion

Helping create necessary pathways to graduation for at-risk students.

Dropout prevention programs (alternative education) for at-risk students are designed by schools to meet the unique needs of a district’s most challenging students. Such programs are often created using a band-aid approach to enhance graduation rates or limit the likelihood of students dropping out. Some programs are created in response to safe schools interventions and serve as a placement for students who have serious code of conduct violations.

Meeting the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out is complex and nuanced. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Programs serving at-risk students are often isolated from the main school setting. While this presents challenges, it also offers teachers and administrators the space to explore innovative practices to establish relationships with and meet the needs of vulnerable students. It is urgent that we provide these educators with support and resources that will empower them to reach students before they become disengaged.


Dropout prevention programs vary from school to school. A formal program review will identify program strengths and weaknesses including:

• Appropriateness of the mission and vision statement.
• Process for hiring the best staff.
• Staff development opportunities.
• Student intake process.
• Availability and use of community resources.
• Program support from the school community.
• Best practices for academic success and classroom management.
• Mental health connections to foster a “whole" child approach to student success.
• Stigma issues.
• Awareness of, and interventions for, students with ACE characteristics.
• Focus on appropriate and rigorous curriculum.
• Attendance issues.

CASDA’s experienced coaches have designed, administered, taught, and evaluated dropout prevention programs in schools throughout the area. They will help teachers and administrators in your district develop background knowledge to enhance their level of competency in educating socially and emotionally disadvantaged students. Our coaches will assist you in creating the necessary pathways to graduation for at-risk students that match the unique needs and structures of your district. 

CASDA’s coaching services are supported by research-based strategies and supplemental materials, and years of experience in this field, ensuring that educators have the knowledge and skills to develop relationships with students at-risk of not graduating to help them succeed in school and beyond.

Contact CASDA Executive Director Michael Piccirillo, Ed.D, at to get started!