A study of certain school leavers at Mount Pleasant School, Roanoke County, Virginia

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute


At the outset of this investigation its purpose was stated as that of discovering causes contributing to termination of schooling on the part of certain children who had completed the seventh grade at Mount Pleasant School; also, that of observing the results of dropping out of school at that time.

In attempting to carry out such purposes, an intensive study was made of 50 former pupils of the school who, for convenience, were called terminators. These persons were members of a total group of 74 who had stopped formal education at the end of the seventh grade during the years from 1938 to 1947.

One consequence of the investigation was a composite picture of the group which was presented in the preceding chapter. Another result of this endeavor was the list of causes for termination which appear in Chapter IV. Prominent among these were (1) economic drives, (2) shifting of interest from school to vocational pursuits, (3) incapacity for the kind of work the school was offering, and (4) indifference to school on the part of parents. The relative dominance of each of these causes, as it appeared in the study, is indicated by the order just given. As the work progressed the impression grew that some of the children might have overcome the other negative factors in the situations if they had been able, somehow, to cope with their economic disabilities; this, despite their somewhat low intelligence as indicated by test results. If it be further assumed that the subjects not only could but should have profited by enrolling in high school then it seems inescapable to conclude that their failure to go on was a double misfortune both to the terminators and to society, caused by forces over which they had little or no control.