Name of Author(s)
Ciprian Fartu_Nic (coord.),
Otilia Apostu, Magda Balica, Bogdan
Florian, Irina Horga, Mihaela Jigau,
Description of Contents
The guide was developed within the ZEP extension project in 24 schools (2010-2011), implemented by the Education Sciences Institute, with the financial support of the UNICEF representatives in Romania. It is designed to give representatives of the management teams of schools located in social- economically disadvantaged communities a mini- guide for recording and analyzing absenteeism and school dropout , and to develop applied strategies for intervention. The ZEP system has as main objective to reduce dropout and increase school participation rate of children living in poor social-economic conditions, and by doing so the guide aims to provide school , as an institution , and school staff , some
useful tools to support educational efforts daily, both in class work, as well as " on the ground" in the relationship with students and their families.
The current guide offers several tools to support the implementation of pro-active strategy by means of which each school must initiate a process to identify students at risk and specific risk factors, monitor the progress of these students and achieve, if necessary, a series of corrective measures. These tools are: The sheet of the child at major risk of school dropout and a series of summary tables with your students at risk of school dropout and their results in school.
The guide includes five chapters:
CHAPTER 1. Identification of students and risk factors regarding early school dropout, at school level
CHAPTER 2. Monitoring students at risk of truancy and school dropout, at school level
Chapter 3. Acquisition and systematization of information in monitoring the students at school risk situation
Chapter 4. Track the students’ flow in school
Chapter 5. Using data obtained by the monitoring absenteeism and dropout
In the first chapter it is presented The Sheet of child at major risk of dropping out of school, which can be used to identify these students. The sheet was conceived as a specific tool that allows an inventory of risk factors such as individual, family and school that a student may face. The role of the sheet is to allow an inventory of information on each case so that the school can identify those specific elements of the students at risk of dropping and common aspects of the schools involved in the project in this school year, in our project. Based on the information recorded it will be possible to develop strategies, programs and specific activities at school level to prevent the occurrence of risk factors or reduce the action of these factors leading to dropout .
The role of the sheet is to allow an inventory of information on each case so that the school can identify those specific elements that are specific to the students at risk of dropping as well as common aspects of the schools involved in the project this school year within our project. Based on the information recorded it will be possible to develop strategies, programs and specific activities at school level to prevent the occurrence of risk factors or reduce the action of these factors leading to dropout.
The sheet contains three distinct sections: A) General information about the student b) General information about the student's living conditions, c) Risk factors . In the section (A) General data about students at risk of dropping are required. This information is intended for arrangement and inventory of records stored in the database and allow finding easily a particular form in order to make some corrections or subsequent completions. Within the (B) section it is required some general information about the student’s conditions of life. This information is not directly related to the student's school work, but they have a great importance in connection with the information contained in section C.
In the section ( C) there is a list of potential risk factors for dropout. They are grouped into categories according to their source, and can be found in daily work. The list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented at any time. Based on the information collected there can be easily identified activities, projects or programs implemented at school level can contribute decisively to prevent school dropout.
Chapter 2 summarizes a number of tools used to monitor the situation of students at risk, in the form of summary tables containing information filled in for each student at risk: data regarding the school students at risk (identified students at school risk), data on the situation of students who play truant (students at risk that collect high number of absences), data on educational outcomes of students at risk ( students who are, the moment the monitoring takes place, at the risk of second examination at one or more school subjects students who are, at the end of the first semester or at the end of the school year at risk of a second examination in one or more subjects), data on the situation of students who do not attend school (total of students at risk who gave up classes during the current school year, students at risk enrolled in school records who have not attended even a school a day), data on the situation of students who avoided school dropout in the current school year.
Chapter 3 specifies the ways in which information can be obtained and summarised for the analysis of cases of absenteeism and dropout, while stating who can help with such information and suggestions for improvement of the respective situations: centralization of unexcused absences, interviews / discussions with students, interviews / discussions with teachers, interviews / discussions with parents, seeking the help of the counselor / school psychologist, questionnaires and group interviews for pupils, achieving a profile of student at school risk.
In Chapter 4 it is suggested a tool to contain the situation of students’ flow throughout the school year and filling in instructions. The proposed instrument helps to more easily calculate the indicators that are part of the national education indicators relevant to the evaluation of participation, efficiency and school results and namely: the graduation rate, grade repetition rate, absenteeism rate, dropout rate.
It allows a detailed analysis of the flow of students throughout the school year. It has similarities to that for students at risk, but also the tools developed by the National Institute of Statistics, which schools fill in with the corresponding information for the start and end of each school year (SC), with the difference that the proposed instrument requires registration information for each student in the school that is filled in both at the beginning of the school year and at the end of it.
Chapter 5 presents the courses of action where the schools can be aided, as well as general areas in which the absenteeism combat and prevent activities absenteeism can be supported by statistical data obtained using information collected at the end of the semester / year.
The Educational material entitled "The working guide for preventing and fighting school drop out ", for school heads, has a clear cut structure, the content being structured following to achieve a logical presentation of the elements necessary to identify students and the dropout risk factors and their monitoring at school, mandatory steps within the strategy to reduce early school leaving phenomenon . In order to monitor students at risk of absenteeism and dropout there are developed tools for the information collection and systematization, students’ flow tracking progress in the school and there are offered ways and solutions of data use obtained through the monitoring activities of absenteeism and dropouts.
The tools developed and presented in this guide have been reviewed both in form and content, being updated according to the legislation in force.
These tools provide a real educational value and support the implementation of proactive strategies by means of which each school should initiate a process to identify students at risk and specific risk factors, monitor these students’ progress and realize, if necessary, a series of corrective measures. Thus, these tools, (Sheet of the child at major risk of school dropout and a series of summary tables with data of the students at risk of school dropout and their scores in for learning) have practical utility both for headmasters and for teachers, they are easy to fill in, including all the necessary information for the settled purpose. The information that the elaborated and revised tools must include are correlated with information in school and that is required in statistics at national and local level , are easy to collect and are relevant for the development of applied intervention strategies.
The statistics achieved at school level based on the Sheet of the child at risk of school dropout as well as data summary tables comprising the data of students at risk of school dropout and their scores in learning can be used by the monitoring and control structures in education - school inspectorates and the Ministry of Education, in order to develop a regional and/or national strategy.
This guide will be a real support for schools and policymakers in education including also courses of action where schools can be aided, and general areas in which the activities to combat and prevent absenteeism and dropout can be supported by the data obtained using statistical information collected at the end of the semester / school year. The tools format developed in this guide will be revised so that it can be transferred and used in Excel format so that it can be filled in and updated constantly, constantly, depending on the dynamics of information.