Strategies

Policies and programs that work

51 Strategies
Clear all

Alternative high schools for at-risk students

Provide educational and social services in an alternative setting for students at-risk of dropping out of traditional high schools
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Attendance interventions for chronically absent students

Support interventions that provide chronically absent students with resources to improve self-esteem, social skills, etc. and address familial and school-related factors that can contribute to poor attendance
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)

Match disadvantaged or at-risk youth with volunteer mentors in school or community settings
Some Evidence
  • Community Safety
  • Education

Bridge programs for hard-to-employ adults

Provide basic skills (e.g., reading, math, writing, English language, or soft skills) and industry-specific training with other supports; also called occupationally contextualized basic education programs
Expert Opinion
  • Education
  • Employment

Career & technical education for high school graduation

Provide career and technical education (CTE) as an integrated part of an academic curriculum for students at risk of dropping out of high school; also called vocational training
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Career Academies

Establish small learning communities in high schools focused on fields such as health care, finance, technology, communications, or public service
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Charter schools

Establish publicly financed schools that are not subject to many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools, such as staffing, curriculum, and budgeting requirements.
Mixed Evidence
  • Education

Chicago Child-Parent Centers

Provide preschool education and comprehensive support to low income families, including small classes, student meals, and home visits with referrals for social service support as needed
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

College access programs

Help underrepresented students prepare academically for college, complete applications, and enroll, especially first generation applicants and students from low income families
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Community schools

Combine academic, mental and physical health, and social service resources in schools for students and families via partnerships with community organizations; also called community learning centers
Some Evidence
  • Education

Comprehensive school reform

Implement a coordinated effort to overhaul school operation, integrating curriculum, instruction, professional development, parent involvement, classroom and school management; also called school-wide or whole school reform
Some Evidence
  • Education

Conservation tillage practices

Encourage methods of soil cultivation that keep at least one-third of cultivated soil covered with the previous year’s crop residue (e.g., mulch till, ridge till, strip till, or no-till)
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

DARE to be You

Provide education and training sessions with parent-child activities and family meals for youth, parents, and care providers
Expert Opinion
  • Education

Dropout prevention programs

Provide supports such as mentoring, counseling, or vocational training, or undertake school environment changes to help students complete high school
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Dropout prevention programs for teen mothers

Provide teen mothers with services such as remedial education, vocational training, case management, health care, child care, and transportation assistance to support high school completion
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Early Head Start (EHS)

Provide child care, parent education, physical health and mental health services, and other family supports to pregnant women and parents with low incomes and children aged 0 to 3
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Families and Schools Together

Convene small groups of families for facilitated weekly meetings that include a family meal, structured activities, parent support time, and parent-child play therapy
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Full-day kindergarten

Offer kindergarten programs for 4 to 6-year-old children, five days per week for at least five hours per day
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

GED certificate programs

Implement programs that help individuals without a high school diploma or its equivalent achieve a General Education Development (GED) certificate
Some Evidence
  • Education
  • Employment

Health career recruitment for minority students

Recruit and train underrepresented minority (URM) students for careers in health fields via information about health careers, classes, practicum experiences, advising about college or medical school admissions, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

HighScope Perry Preschool model

Provided high quality preschool with home visiting to low income, African-American children with an emphasis on active learning in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Some Evidence
  • Education

Incredible Years

Support young children who exhibit or are at risk for behavioral problems with interpersonal relationship training and parents and teachers who are trained to meet their needs
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in middle schools

Emphasize high expectations for all students, parent and student commitment, empowered principals, and regular student assessments that inform continuous improvement in a lengthened school-year and school-day
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Later middle and high school start times

Delay school start times for middle and high schools to better align with adolescent sleep-wake cycles; often until after 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.
Some Evidence
  • Education

Mentoring programs for high school graduation

Establish programs that connect at-risk students with trained adult volunteers who provide ongoing guidance for academic and personal challenges
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

No Excuses charter school model

Focus heavily on reading and math achievement, enforce high behavioral expectations through a formal discipline system, lengthen instructional time, and increase feedback on teacher performance
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Nutrient management plans

Support site-specific plans for crop production that match nutrient applications to crop needs, typically with agricultural best management practices
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Preschool education programs

Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among children who are not old enough to enter formal schooling
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Preschool programs with family support services

Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among young children from low income families, with supports such as home visiting or parental skills training
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Promise Academy Charter Schools

Create a school culture of high behavioral and academic expectations, with intense tutoring, increased teacher performance feedback, lengthened instruction time, and health care services
Some Evidence
  • Education

Publicly-funded pre-kindergarten programs

Provide publicly-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) education to 3- and 4-year-olds, through large-scale or universal efforts
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

School and district level zero tolerance policies

Require school officials to apply predetermined consequences for certain infractions, regardless of situational context or circumstances; consequences are usually severe (e.g., suspension or expulsion)
Evidence of Ineffectiveness
  • Education

School breakfast programs

Support programs to provide students with a nutritious breakfast in the cafeteria, from grab and go carts in hallways, or in classrooms
Scientifically Supported
  • Education
  • Diet and Exercise

School-based health centers

Provide health care services on school premises to attending elementary, middle, and high school students; services provided by teams of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians
Scientifically Supported
  • Education
  • Access to Care

School-based social and emotional instruction

Implement focused efforts to help children recognize and manage emotions, set and reach goals, appreciate others’ perspectives, and maintain relationships; also called social and emotional learning (SEL)
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

School-based trauma counseling

Help students process trauma exposure and develop coping skills through individual or small group counseling with mental health professionals or school staff with trauma-specific training
Some Evidence
  • Education

School-based violence & bullying prevention programs

Address students’ disruptive and antisocial behavior by teaching self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-esteem, social problem solving, conflict resolution, team work, social skills, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

School-community liaisons

Provide low income or at-risk public school students and their families with information about social services and health care supports; also called community resource or family and community liaisons
Insufficient Evidence
  • Education

School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (Tier 1)

Teach positively stated behavior expectations to all students, often reinforced with prizes or privileges and supported with coaching and data; SWPBIS is tier one of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Small elementary classes

Reduce the number of students in elementary school classrooms
Some Evidence
  • Education

Smart Start North Carolina

Provide comprehensive early childhood services, including high quality educational child care, health, and family support to address local needs
Some Evidence
  • Education

Smoke-free policies for indoor areas

Implement private sector rules or public sector regulations that prohibit smoking indoors or restrict it to designated, often outdoor, areas
Scientifically Supported
  • Tobacco Use

Summer learning programs

Provide academic instruction to students during the summer, often along with enrichment activities such as art or outdoor activities
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Technology-enhanced classroom instruction

Incorporate technology into classroom instruction via computer-assisted instruction programs, computer-managed learning programs, use of interactive white boards, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Trauma-informed schools

Adopt a multi-tiered approach within schools to address the needs of trauma-exposed youth, including school-wide changes, screenings, and individual intensive support
Some Evidence
  • Education