We were so excited to see this topic highlighted by The School Justice Partnership: National Resource Center! Here’s an excerpt:
“Feeling engaged and connected to school has been found to be one of the most important protective factors for youth at risk of dropping out of school. Interventions aimed at increasing school connectedness tend to be more successful at preventing overall negative outcomes than those that target specific issues (e.g., truancy, misconduct) or risky behaviors (e.g., drug and alcohol use). If students feel they belong in their school, they will be more likely to succeed in their academic pursuits and be healthy, productive adults. Students who feel connected to school are generally characterized by the following conditions for learning:
- Parent and teacher support. It is important that students perceive that the adults in their lives genuinely care and are involved in their lives. They are more likely to have a healthy self-esteem and be more engaged in learning.
- Commitment to school. The degree to which students invest in their own education is largely shaped by the degree to which important adults and peers believe that school is important. Organizing or participating in extra-curricular activities demonstrates a commitment to school and education.
- Positive peer network. Student outcomes are greatly influenced by their peers. A positive peer network can reinforce constructive behaviors (e.g., completing school assignments), while a negative peer network can reinforce irresponsible behaviors (e.g., bullying, truancy).
- Positive school environment and culture. If a school’s climate is positive, students will feel safe, supported, and will develop positive relationships with teachers and peers. School climate is affected by discipline policies, classroom management practices, and the availability of options to engage in extra-curricular activities, among other factors. …”
Read the whole article: The School Justice Partnership: National Resource Center.