EASTERN TOWNSHIPS SCHOOL BOARD’S SUMMER CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES ITS STUDENTS TO STAY IN SCHOOL
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
For a fourth consecutive year, the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB) has taken a proactive approach in encouraging its secondary students to stay in school. The “Back to school for a brighter future” summer campaign, developed by the ETSB, targets secondary 4 and 5 students and their parents with various strategies. Our internal statistics show that close to 60% of the ETSB’s dropouts come from these grade levels. Each year, before school starts, over 900 postcards are mailed to parents of students entering secondary 4 and 5 asking for their help and support in encouraging their child’s transition back to school. We know that parents can play an important role in their child’s educational success. By working as a team, students can get the support they need to make the right decision to pursue their studies. During this same period, close to 100 at-risk students are contacted to touch base with them and see how they are doing. This is an opportunity to connect with them on a personal level and encourage them to continue with their studies. It can also open the door for discussing options and resources available to help them succeed at school. In addition, a follow-up is done with any high school student enrolled who is not present for the beginning of the school year. The purpose is to encourage the student to return to school and to offer information about services available to them. Our ultimate goal is to have all our students get a diploma or a qualification, so that they may have a brighter future. Since 2004-2005, the ETSB’s dropout rate has dramatically improved, going from 39.4% to 22.8% in 2010-2011. This represents an overall decrease of 42% decrease in six years. School perseverance is a community affair. Parents and all adults involved with youth have a role to play in educational success. Encourage the youth in your community to finish their studies by staying informed about their return to class and back to school.
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