That was the title of the final conference of CroCooS project – Cross-sectoral cooperation focused solutions for preventing early school leaving. The three-days high-level conference was focused both on reflections and policy recommendation of the project, full of schools’ stories and best practices which were delivered by the pilot actors – mentors, schools and teachers.
The aim of the CroCooS – Prevent dropout! project is to develop an institutional level early warning system (EWS) for combating ELET (early leaving from education and training) based on collecting and analysing interventions having been successful in the partner countries. The proposed EWS is piloted in three countries, including 15 different schools.
What are important risk factors?
The CroCoos expert team reported 6 most important distress signals that indicate students at risk of leaving school early and recommend monitoring these at an institutional level.
1. absenteeism (unjustified)
2. deteriorating achievement (Maths, Lagugage)
3. grade repetition (form of punishment)
4. being bored in school (seldom followed up)
5. being bullied/bullying
6. drastic behavior changes
What can a school do?
1. Designing a friendlier environment.
Some schools in the project used the funds to design a place for the students to use in their free time and it had a great impact on them. Especially for the students that are living far away and come early or have to leave late, it is important to have nice and welcoming environment to wait for the classes to start or to socialise with classmates after school.2. Approachable teachers.
Not just the environment, also the relationship part is very important as you may already know. A vocational school from Kranj has designated a special task force of teachers, that students can go to, when they feel they need to talk to someone. The students were notified about it, by receiving special notes in school.
Translation of one of the card:
When you are overwhelmed.. When things are note going well in school.. When it gets difficult for you.. When home is not all good..
When you alone can’t find a solution..
When you have to tell someone..
Sometimes it is enough just, that you share your crisis with someone. That is why, we have a special group of teachers on our school that are here to help the students in distress. We are here for you to listen and support you. Everything that is said will stay between us.)
3. Strengthen the feeling of belonging
An interesting thing an agriculture school from Serbian Zrenjanin has done in order to welcome their freshmen students is, they made special welcome cards for each individual including their picture, name and their rights and duties. They present them during an official welcome ceremony.
4. Cooperation – everyone is good at something.
The last that we will describe is a community garden, made and processed together by students and teachers. That was a good practice presented by a Secondary school Ravne, where they not only took care of the garden for the whole year, but also made some products from the crops at harvest time and gave them as gifts at parents teacher meetings.
Would you like to get educated more on Preventing Early School Leaving? Here at Eramus+ courses by Primera we have a course especially designed for learning more about Prevention and what can be done.
For more details click here.
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