Dropout Prevention/At-Risk Students

The Minnesota Department of Education is working to support academic achievement for all children, close the achievement gap and increase graduation rates. In Minnesota, less than 80 percent of students graduate with a high school diploma. This is unacceptable and it masks even more critical graduation rates for various student groups: including students with disabilities, students living in poverty, students of color and English language learners. The consequences of systemic failure to ensure graduation for all of our youth are significant for society and the youth who leave school early. 

The bottom line in dropout prevention is to utilize strategies that engage students in school and in learning.  The Minnesota Department of Education developed a dropout prevention model for implementation in middle and high schools as part of the Dropout Prevention Retention and Graduation Initiative (2005-2009). The model was piloted in seven school districts with promising results and this website includes materials that were developed and are currently available for use.

In addition, MDE is focused on addressing the following priorities to raise graduation rates.

  • Closing the Gap: Collaborating to effectively increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates for all students.
  • Data Driven Decision-Making: Using data to provide effective supports to students who are disengaging from school and learning. 
  • Engagement, Recovery and Re-Engagement: Developing and implementing effective programs to keep youth in school, as well as identify and encourage youth who have already dropped out of school to reenter school and complete high school. 
  • Individualized Student Planning for the Future: Providing effective and accessible programming and resources for schools, families and students to facilitate high school completion and postsecondary success. 
  • Collaboration: Working Together: Embedding Minnesota’s goal of graduation for all and action steps into any child or youth-focused program or initiative.
Information on at-risk populations, including migrant, neglected, delinquent, and homeless students has moved to School Support > Federal Programs (ESEA). Please use links at right to access specific pages on these topics.