The school district I work in has a stated goal of having 80% of graduate go on to pursue post-secondary education.We (my school district) has all kinds of workshops, seminars, and plenty of statistics for students in an effort to reach that 80% goal. It’s great goal. But an equally important goal is having all students graduate from high school. This morning I found the infographic you see below on Michael Smith’s Principals Page blog. The infographic shows the costs to individuals and to the community of dropping out of high school.
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When I saw this infographic around 6:30 this morning, little did I know that later in the day I would be having a long conversation with one of my students who is considering dropping out. This student is 18 years old and, through a mix of mistakes on his part and life dealing him a tough hand, has only 5 credits toward graduation. This is not the first time this year that we have had conversations about dropping out, but today he actually had a “withdraw from school” form in his hand. We’ve talked before about how hard it is to make a living without graduating from high school. He was in my classroom when we did a mock economy activity called Life on Minimum Wage. But today, we didn’t talk about the economics. Today, I simply asked, “what will you do when you wake up and don’t have to come to school?” He didn’t have an answer so I just asked him to hold off on the paperwork until he has an answer for me. I’m hoping he doesn’t have a good answer for at least another year.