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ALAS Dropout Prevention Program

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ALAS at Your School

The Proven Program

ALAS Dropout Prevention (ALAS) is a research and evidence-based middle and high school program.

The efficacy of ALAS is validated by an internal evaluation, several outside evaluations, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse.


What Works Clearinghouse found the ALAS program to have:

  • the largest demonstrated impact on reducing dropout rates

  • the third highest impact on helping students progress in school.

ALAS has been tested and shown to be particularly effective with low-performing students, students with disabilities or at-risk students in low-performing schools.

ALAS is Delivered Through the Four Pronged Program

  • Training for Success: a daily year long support class taught by the Success Coach and used to maintain intensive student monitoring and rapid intervention response.

  • Resilience Builder: a skill-based behavioral curriculum that is provided in the Training for Success class.

  • Student Success Coach: a school-based teacher advocate and intensive performance monitor who case manages students and works with other educators, community and family.

  • Power With: a whole school staff development program to increase student engagement and persistence.


The Purpose of ALAS is to Build Capacity

The goals of ALAS are to:

  • build the capacity of schools to eliminate student underperformance or dropout

  • raise the academic achievement of all students

  • meaningfully raise post-secondary achievement of every student

  • teach schools how to build the capacity of families and community to serve youth effectively

ALAS is dedicated to achieving these goals regardless of the adversity the student faces or the performance level the student brings to the school.

ALAS Strategies and Practices are Geared to …

  • enhance student and family commitment;

  • significantly increase school attendance;

  • create strong and meaningful bonds in the school’s adult-student relationships;

  • eliminate individual and systemic barriers to credit accrual and engagement;

  • differentiate instruction and use data driven RTi strategies;

  • create systemic flexibility in order to personalize the educational experience;

  • prevent students at the outset (entering the school) from falling behind;

  • use rapid response intervention to prevent, recover or change habitual patterns of failure;

  • empower students to assume independent positive action and personal responsibility; and

  • increase student resilience and learning proficiency.

The ALAS Model Can Be Flexibly Adapted

ALAS is a continuous improvement model of transformation (at the organizational level, educator level, family level, and student level).

The ALAS model utilizes the strengths and existing resources of each school site to create a program that is specifically designed to address the unique needs of the school, the students and the families.

The ALAS framework, beliefs and general strategies are consistent from school to school; however, there is a great deal of flexibility in the ALAS model.

Technical assistance helps each school design and implement policies and practices that utilize strengths, and that can adapt what currently exists so that changes are customized and sustainable (this would include reallocating existing interventions, time, staffing, facilities, partners).

How ALAS Is Implemented at a School Site

Experienced ALAS staff conduct a Needs Assessment of the school site. Based upon the Needs Assessment, ALAS provides the school with a recommended Plan for Transformation, including an Evaluation Plan.

If the school site decides to move forward on the recommendations, then a formal Plan for Transformation is jointly created into an MOU by the ALAS and school staff. The MOU describes the ALAS-DISTRICT partnership clearly.

ALAS and selected school staff, including identified teacher leaders, then provide school personnel the technical assistance and coaching required to implement the plan as soon as possible while using a continuous improvement model of transformation.

Throughout year one, and as needed year 2 and 3, ALAS in collaboration with school staff continues to provide the school site and staff technical assistance, professional development, and on-going coaching as well as problem solving leadership.

ALAS is committed to supporting each school for as long as it takes to arrive at independent sustainability of a program that is effective for all students.

Much of the technical assistance and coaching provided by ALAS is done using on-line or telecommunication tools which teachers and staff can access via the internet.

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ALAS Model

The ALAS program is based on the premise that the school context and all its complexities is inextricably bound to other contexts of influence on youth achievement. That is, youth behavior and development is an interaction between multiple contexts of influence and the individual characteristics of each child.

A central assumption of the model is that each context needs individual reform to increase its positive influence on youth and, additionally, barriers which reduce or prevent communication and coherence between contexts must be bridged.

ALAS consists of a series of specific intervention strategies focused on the adolescent as well as on the three contexts of influence on achievement. The intervention strategies are designed to increase the effectiveness of each context as well as to increase collaboration between contexts.

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ALAS Intervention Strategies
  • Student Strategies:

    Strategies focused on the adolescent include building capacity through building resilience by teaching personal assets including social problem-solving training, self-control skills, assertive skills and positive attitude skills. Students receive intensive problem solving coaching to get them to apply their resilience skills; as well as student recognition experiences; and school bonding experiences that meet the needs of disengaged students. Building a strong positive "failure is not an option" relationship between the counselor/mentor and the student is crucial for student success. If students require academic support a strategic plan is crafted and monitored closely.

  • School Strategies:

    Strategies focused on the school include building the capacity of the school staff, discipline policies, and program to support at-risk youth in a personalized and empowering way that requires the least amount of time and effort; frequent teacher feedback to students and parents (ranging from daily to monthly); intensive period-by-period attendance monitoring and attendance support; positive discipline strategies that engage rather than isolate; personalized relationships, and intensively monitoring each student's academic progress with a capacity of acting immediately to prevent falling behind. School strategies must be individualized and flexible with the understanding that progress is a process that includes inevitable setbacks. And finally, a "what ever it takes" strategic effort from the school mentor/counselor is required to address individual student challenges.
  • Parent Strategies:

    Strategies focused on the family include building the capacity of the parents to support the adolescent; engaging the parents in the educational setting by creating a strong relationship with the counselor/mentor and with other parents; use of community resources in a way that meet family needs; parent training in school participation and what is required for school success; parent training in how to guide and monitor an adolescent. Additionally, family challenges that prevent the adolescent from succeeding in school must be addressed.
  • Community Strategies: Strategies focused on the community include building the capacity of school staff to work with community agencies; enhancement of collaboration among community agencies for youth and family services and with the educational setting; enhancement of skills and methods of the community agencies for serving the youth and family.

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How to Implement ALAS Now (FAQs)

How do we get started?

Contact ALAS Dropout Prevention (call or email) and staff will be happy to discuss a needs assessment with you and answer any questions you may have.

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