Dropout. For many, the word conjures up an image of a lost cause, a student gone from the school system for good. But a recent study challenges that notion and adds important new information to the national conversation about reengaging disconnected students.

“We identified a subgroup of students who drop out but have the tenacity to come back,” says BethAnn Berliner, a senior researcher at WestEd and co-author of Characteristics and Education Outcomes of Utah High School Dropouts Who Re‑Enrolled, produced by WestEd’s Regional Educational Laboratory West.

While there is a sizeable body of research on high school dropout, relatively little is known about students who drop out and later re-enroll. But a recent study — the first statewide analysis of re-enrollees — gives us a much-needed baseline of information on the demographic and academic characteristics of these students.

Read this R&D Alert article to learn more about these “re-enrollees” and how schools and districts are working to reengage them.