In Iowa, at-risk is defined in the Iowa Code and the Iowa Administrative Code. Since programming is a local decision, definitions and guidance are given so that school districts are able to decide locally what the specific indicators are that put students at risk and guidance for serving these students.
"At-risk student" means any identified student who needs additional support and who is not meeting or not expected to meet the established goals of the educational program (academic, personal/social, career/vocational). At-risk students include but are not limited to students in the following groups: homeless children and youth, dropouts, returning dropouts, and potential dropouts.
Each school district shall include in its comprehensive school improvement plan the following provisions for meeting the needs of at-risk students:
- Valid and systematic procedures and criteria to identify at-risk students throughout the school district's school-age population,
- Determination of appropriate ongoing educational strategies for alternative options education programs as required in Iowa Code section 280.19A, and
- Review and evaluation of the effectiveness of provisions for at-risk students. This subrule does not apply to accredited nonpublic schools.
Melcher-Dallas Elementary At-Risk Coordinator (Mr. Ferguson) with his students
The STAR program supports elementary students who are referred for academic assistance and need significant support in reading and/or math. The students receive individualized or small group skill development or strategies in math and/or reading to continue to progress with grade level peers.
The students who need significant support in interpersonal skills to resolve conflicts with peers/teachers will also receive individualized or small group social skills instruction and coping strategies to prevent conflicts, truancy, and/or reduce office referrals. Strategies include, but are not limited to, anger management, coping skills training, social skills training and weekly progress monitoring for behavioral concerns.
POC for this program is: Mr. Pat Ferguson