Arizona Department of Education

AIMS Intervention and Dropout Prevention Program TOOLKIT


The literature included in the Toolkit for "best practices" in dropout prevention has a specific focus on "what works." Searches were made through academic and Internet search engines for practical, applied information that was empirically tested and shown to be effective in addressing the educational needs of students at risk of not completing high school.

Articles and resources have been excerpted for educational purposes only. Readers wanting to view or distribute the whole document are invited to contact the publisher or website.

Although they do not cover all possible topics, these excerpts are intended to provide examples of successful, model, or exemplary strategies, programs and activities. Click on the title of the article or source to open a new document. Clicking on Key Themes and selecting "Research articles" will also take you to the excerpted source.

Adelman, H. & Taylor, L. (2001). Enhancing Classroom Approaches for Addressing Barriers to Learning: Classroom-Focused Enabling. School Mental Health Project, Dept. of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Adelman, H. & Taylor, L. (2002). Re-engaging Students in Learning... A Center Quick Training Aid. UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools, Los Angeles.

Ancess, J. & Wichterle, S.O. (2001). Making School Completion Integral to School Purpose & Design. National Center for Restructuring Education, School, & Teaching Teachers College. Columbia University.

Beaulieu, David L. (2000). Comprehensive Reform and American Indian Education. Journal of American Indian Education, Vol. 39, Number 2, Special Issue 3.

Berliner, B., Barrat, V.X., Fong, A.B., and Shirk, P.B. (2008). Reenrollment of High School Dropouts in a Large, Urban School District (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2008 No. 056). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory West. Retrieved from

Borger, J., Cano, M., Collins, C., Evans, W., Perlman, C., Qualls, J., & Wood, J. (1996). Preparing Your High School Students to Take Standardized Tests. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees; Department of Research, Assessment, and Quality Reviews. Chicago, IL.

Bottoms, Gene. (2004). Using Rigor, Relevance, and Relationship to Improve Student Achievement: How Some Schools Do It - 2004 Outstanding Practices. Southern Regional Education Board. Atlanta, GA.

Bouffard, S. & Weiss, H. (2008). Thinking Big:  A New Framework for Family Involvement Policy, Practice, and Research. The Evaluation Exchange, Volume XIV, Nos. 1 & 2, Spring 2008. Harvard Family Research Project. Cambridge, MA.

Carruthers, W., et al. (1993). All About Attendance: A Manual and Case Studies for Schools and Families. Wake County Public School System Print Shop: Raleigh, N.C.

Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA. (2004). An introductory packet on dropout prevention. Los Angeles, CA: Author.

Corbett, G.C. & Huebner, T. (2007). Rethinking High School - Preparing Students for Success in College, Career, and Life. West Ed. San Francisco, CA.

Edgar, Eugene, & Johnson, E. (1995). Relationship Building & Affiliation Activities in School-Based Dropout Prevention Programs: Rationale & Recommendations for Action. ABC Dropout Prevention and Intervention Series. California University, Santa Barbara.

Gut, D.M., Farmer, T.W., Bishop-Goforth, J., Hives, J., Aaron, A., & Jackson, F. (2004). The School Engagement Project: Academic Engagement Enhancement. Preventing School Failure, Winter 2004; Heldref Publications.

Hamby, John V (1992). Vocational Education for the 21st Century.. National Dropout Prevention Center, Clemson S.C.

Killion, Joellen. (2002). What Works in the High School: Results-Based Staff Development, National Staff Development Council, P.O. Box 240, Oxford, OH 45056.

Larson, K. & Rumberger, R. (1995). PACT Manual: Parent and Community Teams for School Success. Special Education Programs, Washington D.C. Available:

Legters, N. & Kerr, Kerri. (2001). Easing the Transition to High School:  An Investigation of Reform Practices to Promote Ninth Grade Success. Center for Social Organization of Schools. John Hopkins University.

Lehr, C.A., Johnson, D.R., Bremer, C.D., Cosio, A., & Thompson, M. (2004). Essential Tools - Increasing Rates of School Completion: Moving From Policy and Research to Practice. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN.

Martin, N., & Halperin, S. (2006). Whatever It Takes: How Twelve Communities Are Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth.. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum.

Morrison, G.M., Brown, M., D'Incau, B., O'Farrell, S.L., & Furlong, M.J. (2006). Understanding Resilience in Educational Trajectories: Implications for Protective Possibilities. Psychology in the Schools, Volume 43(1), pages 19-31.

National High School Center. (2007). New Hampshire's Multi-Tiered Approach to Dropout Prevention. National High School Center Linking Research and Resources for Better High Schools. Washington D.C.

Promising and Effective Practices Network. (1998). Lessons Learned from 43 Effective Youth Employment Initiatives. National Youth Employment Coalition, Washington D.C.

Reimer, M.S. & Cash, T. (2003). Alternative Schools: Best Practices for Development and Evaluation. Effective Strategies for School Improvement. National Dropout Prevention Center, Clemson S.C.

Respress, T. & Lutfi, G. (2006). Whole Brain Learning: The Fine Arts with Students at Risk.. Reclaiming Children and Youth 15:1, Spring 2006, p. 24-31.

Reyhner, John (1992). American Indian Education: Plans for Dropout Prevention and Special School Support Services for American Indian and Alaska Native Students. U.S. Department of Education's Indian Nations at Risk Task Force.

Rossi, R.J. (1995). Evaluation of Projects Funded by the School Dropout Demonstration Assistance Program - Final Evaluation Report Volume 1: Findings and Recommendations. American Institutes for Research. Palo Alto, CA.

Skiba, R., Rausch, M.K., and Ritter, S. (2004). "Discipline is Always Teaching": Effective Alternatives to Zero Tolerance in Indiana's Schools. Education Policy Briefs Vol. 2 No. 3. Indiana Youth Services Association, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy. Bloomington, IN.

Smink, J. & Reimer, M.S. (2005). Fifteen Effective Strategies for Improving Student Attendance and Truancy Prevention. National Dropout Prevention Center, Clemson University. Clemson, SC.

Stevens, W. David. (2008). If Small is Not Enough...? The Characteristics of Successful Small High Schools in Chicago. Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) at the University of Chicago. Chicago, IL.

Trautman, Thomas and Lawrence, Jeff (2004). Credit Recovery: A Technology-Based Intervention for Dropout Prevention at Wichita Falls High School (Texas). The American Education Corporation.

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