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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149766 Find in a Library
Title: Backstage View of At-Risk Students
Journal: NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) Bulletin  Volume:75  Issue:538  Dated:(November 1991)  Pages:59-66
Author(s): D Brubaker
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 8
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on the author's observation of a principal's interaction with students in incidents at an alternative school in Asheville, N.C. (Buncombe Community School), four principles are presented to guide school administrators who work with at-risk students.
Abstract: The first principle advises, "At-risk students need to believe they are moving toward something better. Educators must use language that speaks to this need." The incident that confirmed this principle was a conversation between the principal and a student in which the student claimed dissatisfaction with the school because it is "a school for dropouts." The principal responded, "This is a school to keep you from dropping out." This seemed to satisfy the student, as it assured him that he was accomplishing something in the school. The second principle stated is, "At-risk students need the security of structure and predictable adult behavior. These students also respect adults who are flexible under special circumstances." This principle is illustrated in an incident in which a student came to the principal to complain that the teacher marked her absent because she was in the bathroom with three of her friends before school. The principal advises her to go back to her class to ensure that she is marked tardy rather than absent. The student is thus encouraged to act in a way that minimizes the consequences of a mistake. The third principle is, "At-risk students need caring adult leaders who create the conditions for students to accept responsibility for their own lives." The fourth principle is, "If educators who give leadership to at-risk students are too serious, they risk burnout. A sense of humor is the antidote." Each of these principles is also illustrated with a particular interaction between the principal and a student. 4 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Alternative schools; Educators; Juvenile delinquency theory; North Carolina; Program design; Program implementation; Program planning; School delinquency programs; School dropouts; Self concept
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