Building School Connectedness to Foster Resiliency in Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that students who feel more connected to their school have better health and educational outcomes than those who do not. Students with strong school connectedness are less likely to engage in alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use (ATOD) or violence. Engaging families, communities, and the students themselves creates a caring and supportive environment ripe for school connectedness. It is vital for schools to foster the belief that the adults and peers at school care about student education as well as about the students as individuals.
Four main factors directly affect school connectedness: adult support, positive peer groups, commitment to education, and the school environment. Providing students with a solid foundation of social emotional skills is a key part of all four factors.
- Students need positive support and respect from the adults in their lives, both at home and at school.
- Students with strong social skills and decision-making abilities will align with others who value education and healthy social interaction.
- When students are committed to their own education and the belief that education is a priority, they feel more of a connection to their school community and have greater academic success.
- The environment created by the school, also referred to as school climate, is an essential piece of school connectedness.
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