Strengthening At Risk Students Affiliation with the School. Research BriefReport as inadecuate

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Education Partnerships, Inc.

Student affiliation, also referred to as engagement, involvement, identification, connectedness, participation, and bonding with the school is linked to student success,and a lack of affiliation is directly connected to students' reasons for dropping out of school. Educational reformers and school leaders are beginning to turn their attention to students' affiliation with their schools--and with sound reason. Recent research indicates that students, especially at-risk students, both benefit from and may even be dependent on the supportive, engaging, stimulus that comes from being connected to one's school. Findings from a study on student-school bonding and problem behavior in adolescents concluded that if schools are successful in competing for students' affiliation, students are likely to be more engaged in school and less involved in problem behaviors in and out of school. A synthesis of research and scholarship reveal numerous benefits from increasing students' affiliation with school: (1) Fewer dropouts; (2) Increased attendance; (3) Reduced frequency of risky behavior; (4) Increased achievement; (5) Academic engagement; and (6) Increased sense of community and care. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all implementation package for increasing student involvement, there are several common characteristics amongst existing and emerging programs working to strengthen student affiliation: (1) Size; (2) Rigor; (3) Environment; (4) Parent Involvement; (5) Connection; (6) Partnerships; and (7) Governance. (Contains 13 online resources.)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, At Risk Students, Adolescents, Attendance Patterns, Parent Participation, Student Attitudes, Learner Engagement, Student Participation, Literature Reviews, Dropout Prevention, Student Behavior, Behavior Modification, Educational Environment, Governance, Student Motivation, Youth Programs

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Author: Edge, Christi


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