Special Report

Nurturing Students' Climb to Success

Why Engagement and Motivation Matter
October 18, 2017
How students feel about school has high-stakes implications for the rest of their lives. The hallmarks of a disengaged student are well-known—poor attendance, low achievement, and too often, giving up on school completely. But cultivating the conditions and nurturing the relationships that allow all students to thrive in school require hard and deliberate work. In this report, Education Week takes an expansive look at student engagement and motivation and a range of strategies schools, educators, advocates, and parents are using to help students get—and stay—vested in their learning. In the resulting stories, it's clear that relationships are the linchpin.
  • Equity & Diversity For English-Learners, a Positive Side to Peer Pressure
    Seeing peers with similar backgrounds succeed helps ELLs stay connected and motivated, educators and researchers say.
    Corey Mitchell, October 17, 2017
    6 min read
    Charles Williams, a youth support counselor at the Ginn Academy in Cleveland, helps Jaivyon Harris, 14, one-on-one in the school’s hallway.
    Charles Williams, a youth support counselor at the Ginn Academy in Cleveland, helps Jaivyon Harris, 14, one-on-one in the school’s hallway.
    Dustin Franz for Education Week
    College & Workforce Readiness A District That Ditched In-School Suspensions
    In Cleveland, educators try to keep disruptive students in class and connected to learning. But out-of-school suspension rates remain high.
    Corey Mitchell, October 17, 2017
    9 min read
    Student Well-Being Educating and Motivating Students
    In this report, Education Week takes an expansive look at student engagement and motivation and a range of strategies schools, educators, advocates, and parents are using to help students get—and stay—vested in their learning.
    The Editors, October 17, 2017
    1 min read
    Samantha Bearface, a 5th grader at Willamina Elementary School in Willamina, Ore., participates in a spelling lesson. In an effort to lower chronic absenteeism among its Native American elementary school students, the district worked with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde to hire a coordinator who worked with families to address transportation, bullying, and other issues that were keeping kids out of school.
    Samantha Bearface, a 5th grader at Willamina Elementary School in Willamina, Ore., participates in a spelling lesson. In an effort to lower chronic absenteeism among its Native American elementary school students, the district worked with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde to hire a coordinator who worked with families to address transportation, bullying, and other issues that were keeping kids out of school.
    Leah Nash for Education Week
    Every Student Succeeds Act Schools Mount Fight Against Chronic Absenteeism
    Pressure to cut the rates of student absences will ramp up as most states use attendance in some form in new accountability plans.
    Evie Blad, October 17, 2017
    10 min read
    Students at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, N.C., play a game during a field day event last month, when new freshmen met their junior and senior mentors who’ll help them navigate the complexities of their first year in high school.
    Students at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, N.C., play a game during a field day event last month, when new freshmen met their junior and senior mentors who’ll help them navigate the complexities of their first year in high school.
    Justin Cook for Education Week
    Student Well-Being To Fill a 'Mentoring Gap,' Schools Get Creative
    Mentors can be powerful sources of support for students, but it's not easy to recruit and retain volunteers for the long haul.
    Evie Blad, October 17, 2017
    8 min read
    Nicole Ellzey, a housekeeper at the International House Hotel in New Orleans, meets with Gary Briggs, who advises her on how to support her two sons in school. Briggs, a former teacher who works for EdNavigator, comes to the hotel regularly to meet with employees who are using the nonprofit’s services. Ellzey said Briggs helped her identify problems her oldest son was having in school and how best to approach his teachers.
    Nicole Ellzey, a housekeeper at the International House Hotel in New Orleans, meets with Gary Briggs, who advises her on how to support her two sons in school. Briggs, a former teacher who works for EdNavigator, comes to the hotel regularly to meet with employees who are using the nonprofit’s services. Ellzey said Briggs helped her identify problems her oldest son was having in school and how best to approach his teachers.
    Edmund D. Fountain for Education Week
    Student Well-Being Expert Advice on Schools Is a New Kind of Employee Perk
    A nonprofit works with employers to provide lower-income parents with advice and support for their children's education.
    Francisco Vara-Orta, October 17, 2017
    8 min read
    School & District Management Small 'Nudges' Can Push Students in the Right Direction
    "Nudges" are low-cost interventions meant to influence behavior by changing how or when choices are offered. Research is showing that when used with students, nudges can get positive results.
    Sarah D. Sparks, October 17, 2017