Examining Strategies Used to Address At-Risk Students by High School Leaders: A Multiple Case Study

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Academic performance for students that are considered at-risk in urban area high schools has been significantly lower for students living in urban areas and going to school in these areas. This cycle is known as the achievement gap between students of varying ethnicities and different socio-economic backgrounds which could begin at birth due to the condition of the parent’s socio-economic background and various other reasons. Ethnically diverse students that have support from principals, parents, social workers, school psychologists, guidance counselors, teachers, mentors and community organizations have the opportunity to improve their academic outcomes. High school leaders and teachers, along with parents and the community, support at-risk students by creating programs and opportunities for students, being involved in student’s everyday life, and combining education and work opportunities allowing students to feel as though they are productive members of society. Through a combination of 12 interviews, and document review, this qualitative case study explored how leaders, teachers, parents and community involvement can lead to positive academic achievement for at-risk students. Two high schools located in the Southern part of Camden, NJ, were the sites of this qualitative case study. The findings of this qualitative case study reinforced that the involvement of parents, school leaders, teachers and the community does indeed provide at-risk high school students an opportunity for success and academic achievement. These findings concluded that successful strategies require all personnel working together to advocate for students, building rapport with students, consistent tutoring, encouragement and motivation to meet the needs of students struggling academically, and social, emotional and behavioral support and management to keep students focused.




Northcentral University

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