Scholastic and NDPC to raise awareness of pervasive barriers to student learning

Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, and the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) have announced combined efforts to raise awareness of pervasive barriers to student learning and provide school districts with increased access to professional development, including research-based strategies that systemically address these challenges, improving opportunities for all students to achieve. The barriers affecting student success take many forms, including social-emotional or behavioral challenges, factors related to poverty, lack of family engagement, school climate, safety, and attendance. According to the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report:

  • 87% of educators surveyed agree many of their students face barriers to learning that come from outside the school environment.
  • Educators in higher-poverty schools are even more likely to agree, with a nearly unanimous 98% saying this, yet it is also still prevalent among 66% of educators in low-poverty schools.

As an Innovation Partner, Scholastic will collaborate with NDPC to provide online and in-person opportunities for educators and district leaders to benefit from the resources available around learning supports from both organizations in the coming year. This targeted support will help identify and remove barriers to learning that affect student achievement while encouraging practices that support students’ development, such as learning to optimize community resources, effectively engage families, utilize on-campus counseling, and more. For ongoing thought leadership on the topic of learning supports, visit

“It is more important than ever that there is a concerted effort to ensure that young people fully develop the social, emotional, and academic skills needed to graduate and lead productive lives,” said Dr. Sandy Addis, Executive Director, National Dropout Prevention Center. “Scholastic is an ideal partner to help us fulfill and expand our mission and we look forward to working together to reduce barriers to learning and reengage students in the learning process, cultivating the pathway for increased student success.”

“Scholastic is working in schools every day and we are witnessing growing recognition of the importance of social emotional learning, the challenges presented by learning barriers from outside the classroom, and the imperative for learning supports,” noted Ron Mirr, Senior Vice President of Learning Supports and Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Scholastic Education. “The National Dropout Prevention Center is a respected leader in this movement to better support students and we are honored to partner with them so that all learners have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of the challenges around them.”

Together, Scholastic and NDPC will author content and present at regional and national conferences throughout the year to share school improvement models that have had significant results in districts across the country. Dr. Rhonda Neal Waltman, Senior Director of Consultancy Services—Learning Supports, is among the many Scholastic Education experts who will be facilitating professional development opportunities. The next upcoming event organized by Scholastic and NDPC will be:

National Dropout Prevention Network Webcast: Solutions to the Dropout Crisis 
Ensuring All Students Succeed: The Imperative for a Learning Supports Framework


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