Building Relationships for Effective Dropout Prevention

Relationships with school personnell

Relationships with the Principal

  • Know your facts.
  • Keep your principal in the loop by keeping them up to date with what is going on with the students.
  • Never let them get blind-sided.

Have a common vision

  • At the beginning of each year sit down and discuss specific goals for the year.
  • These may be different for each school.


  • Establish a two-way open door policy where you are both able to share concerns freely.
  • When presenting problems or concerns try to keep it time limited and solution focused.
  • The principal has to handle all of the problems in the school; therefore, it helps if you already have some ideas for solutions to problems before you talk with them. Think outside of the box.
Relationships with the Community

Relationships with the community

  • Build strong relationships with community agencies.
  • Know your community resources and stay up to date with the services they provide and criteria for services.
  • Attend community functions.
  • Get on the mailing list for any community resources publications in your area.
  • Build a positive relationship with the contact person at agencies to whom you make referrals.

Relationships with School Personnel

  • Establish or participate in some sort of instructional support team consisting of support staff such as dropout prevention, counselors, social workers, etc. Meet weekly or biweekly to share concerns and strategies to increase student success.
  • Help counselors when possible, they will return the favor
  • Establish clear goals so that everyone is on the same page
  • Ask to speak at a staff meeting to share your role and explain how teachers can make referrals to you
  • Let teachers know that you are also there to help them in assisting the students in being successful.
  • Be supportive of the staff when working with students.
  • Follow through with what you tell co-workers you will do.
  • Advocate for your students. Even if everyone doesn't agree with you they will respect your commitment.
Relationships with Families

Relationships with Families

Phone contacts
Home visits
Employer visits


Share positive attributes about the student with parents or caregivers.
Make sure caregivers know that you believe in the student and want to see them graduate.
Link them with resources both in the school and the community.
Empower them and encourage them to advocate and support the student.

Let them know that you are there to support them.