The Benefits of Targeting At Risk Students

What is an At Risk Student?

At Risk Students
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An at risk student is a student who may struggle to achieve academic expectations due to external factors in one area or several areas. Those struggles often have an adverse affect on the student's performance at school. A student can be deemed an at risk student due to several factors including low test scores, poor attendance, discipline issues, structure at home, socioeconomic status, and others.

Most schools have programs such as Title I that provide more attention to these students and are designed to keep them from falling through the cracks.

Schools must do everything in their power to identify at risk students and create programs that specifically target that group of students.  For at risk students, their external environment can prove too difficult to overcome unless the school intervenes. Without this intervention, many at risk students eventually become drop outs and can become a burden on society. Schools often become the primary line of defense for giving these students a chance to overcome these obstacles. 

The Benefits of Targeting At Risk Students

1. Targeting at risk students serves as a foundation for individualized instruction. The term "at risk student" is broad in nature. It encompasses a broad spectrum of issues that can interfere with student learning. Each issue is unique in nature and as such must be handled on a case by case basis.

A strategy that may work well for one student, may not necessarily work well for another.

2. Targeting at risk students can help improve the overall quality of your school.  At risk students are often the students who struggle the most academically. These are the students who often rank at the bottom in terms of student performance.

  They are also the students who are in the most trouble. Any improvement that comes as a result of strategic programs aimed at providing at risk students with assistance is a home run for the student and the school.

3. Targeting at risk students can help a student overcome obstacles and become successful when they may not otherwise have been.  Schools truly have the power to change lives. If the trajectory of one student's life path is changed for the better, then the time and money invested in the program is worth it.  The programs developed to help at risk students must include components that are adaptive in nature and holistic in that it extends beyond the school day.

4. Targeting at risk students can help save the taxpayers within the community money. When a school successfully intervenes and changes the course of an at risk student it benefits the community in many possible ways. It can help reduce crime, which is costly to taxpayers. It can also help a student become a productive member of the local workforce, keeping them from relying on government assistance program.