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Dropout Prevention

Utah Resources

Check & Connect: Increasing Student Engagement and Persistence in School
Check & Connect is a model of sustained intervention for promoting students’ engagement at school and with learning. Demonstrated outcomes of Check & Connect include:

  • increased attendance, persistence in school, accrual of credits, and school completion rates; and
  • decreased truancy, tardies, behavioral referrals, and dropout rates.

The Check & Connect model originated from a partnership of researchers, practitioners, parents and students led by the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.
Check & Connect is data-driven and grounded in research on resiliency and home-school collaboration. Student referral criteria include alterable signs of school withdrawal—primarily attendance indices (absences, tardies, skipping class)—in the context of academic performance and emotional or behavioral problems.

In 2013 the Utah Youth-in-Care program implemented Check & Connect statewide at all of their service sites. Our hope is that local building administrators and school districts will realize the positive outcomes and expand Check & Connect for other at-risk youth in schools, grades K–12.

For more information, contact
Laurieann Thorpe, Check & Connect Program Coordinator, Youth-in-Care Program
Utah State Office of Education
Phone: (801) 573-7248 | laurieann [dot] thorpe [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (E-mail)

Self-Regulation for Academic Success

Self-Regulation for Academic Success is being implemented as a pilot program at Rose Park Elementary School, where strategies are being used in the classroom, through school counseling services, student government and parent education. The program is based on research in affective neuroscience and was developed by Utah State Office of Education English Language Arts (ELA) Specialist, Christelle Estrada, PhD.; and Janet Kaufman, PhD., professor in English and teacher preparation at the University of Utah. The developers have worked to implement effective strategies and concepts into a school-based, non-therapeutic structure. Benefits for stakeholders include:

  • Students learn to use skills for interpersonal e, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and mindfulness in order to facilitate their ability to stay in school and progress toward graduation.
  • Parents learn similar skills to help their students stay in school.
  • School counselors and other educators learn and teach techniques for a not-therapeutic intervention for at-risk students.

For more information, contact
Dr. Christelle Estrada, Secondary Language Specialist
Utah State Office of Education
Phone: 801-538-7616 | christelle [dot] estrada [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (E-mail)

Supportive Sites for Brain-based Learning and Improved Outcomes for Students

  1. The Brain: Life's Natural Answer to Learning Blog (Dr. Christelle Estrada)
  2. Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research in Education
  3. Trauma Sensitive Schools Movement

The Dropout Prevention Alliance for Utah Students with Disabilities

A collaboration between the Utah State office of Education, the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, and The Regional Education Laboratory West (RELWest) at WestEd has created the Utah Dropout Prevention Alliance which provides training, technical assistance, research and collaboration to improve outcomes for students. 

Alliance E-Newsletter
Newsletter will serve as a way to share successes, stay connected, and keep current on dropout prevention resources

The following schools have participated in Alliance training:

Joined in 2011-12
Alta High School, Canyons School District
Grantsville High School, Tooele School District
Highland High School, Salt Lake City School District
Polaris High School, Alpine School District
South Hills Middle School, Jordan School District

Joined in 2012-13
Ashley Valley Academy, Uintah School District
City Academy Charter School, Salt Lake City School District
Juab High School, Juab School District
Northridge High School, Davis School District
Uintah School District Consortium

  • Eagle View Elementary School, Uintah School District
  • Uintah High School, Uintah School District
  • Vernal Junior High School, Uintah School District
  • Vernal Middle School, Uintah School District
  • Woods Cross High School, Davis School District

The Alliance has sponsored events open to all interested educators from schools in Utah:

October 29, 2012 Learning to Use Early Warning System Tools

September 19, 2013 Using SMART Goals to Improve Dropout Prevention Plans

September 26, 2013 Every Day Counts: Increasing Attendance to Improve Student Outcomes 

February 6, 2014 Dropout Prevention: Digging Deeper