Engaging Schools is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with educators in middle and high schools.

We help them create a schoolwide community of learning that integrates academic, social, and emotional development — and prepares each and every student to succeed.

We offer professional development and resources with practical strategies that are grounded in the values of equity, community, and democracy. The result: educators who can better engage their students — and students who are prepared to make positive contributions in school, work, and life.

Click here to learn about Engaging Schools’ Shifting Gears: Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support.

Did You Know?

A Stanford University study found that an intervention that helped middle school teachers to take an “empathic mindset” to student discipline reduced suspensions by half over the course of the school year.

Okonofua, Paunesku, & Walton, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Being suspended even once in 9th grade is associated with a twofold increase in the likelihood of dropping out.

Out of School and Off Track, UCLA

Millions of students are being removed from their classrooms each year, mostly in middle and high schools, and overwhelmingly for minor misconduct. When suspended, these students are at a significantly higher risk of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and coming into contact with the juvenile justice system.

The School Discipline Consensus Report - The Justice Center of the Council of State Governments

Research shows that among students from grades 5 – 12, positive emotions such as hope, wellbeing, and engagement account for 31 percent of the variance in students’ academic success.

The Missing Piece, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Students who strongly agree that they have at least one teacher who makes them “feel excited about the future” and that their school is “committed to building the strengths of each student” are 30 times more likely to be engaged in their classrooms.

Gallup's 2014 State of America’s Schools report

A disproportionately large percentage of disciplined students are youth of color, students with disabilities, and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The School Discipline Consensus Report - The Justice Center of the Council of State Governments

Promoting successful school completion requires a shift in focus from [demographic] predictors of non-completion, such as race and socioeconomic status, to student engagement at school and with learning over time. Students who are engaged — academically, cognitively, psychologically, and behaviorally — are more likely to complete school.

School Completion and Student Engagement, National Association of School Psychologists

Asked to rate various factors’ effect on achievement, teachers and administrators rated student engagement and motivation, on average, 3.9 on a 4-point scale. And 87 percent of respondents considered student engagement and motivation to be “very important.”

Diplomas Count 2014, Education Week Research Center

A meta-analysis of 213 rigorous studies demonstrated that students receiving quality social and emotional learning instruction had better academic performance, improved attitudes and behavior, fewer negative behaviors, and reduced emotional distress.

Durlak, Weissberg, et al., Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs

Safe, caring, participatory, and responsive school climates tend to foster a greater attachment to school and provide the optimal foundation for social, emotional, and academic learning for middle and high school students.

Thapa, Cohen, Guffey et al. Review of Educational Research
See Another Fact

From Our Blog

Shifting Gears recognized by Teachers College Record

Since it was released last year, Shifting Gears: Recalibrating Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support has been an important, hands-on resource for hundreds of school and district leaders working on school climate, culture and discipline matters. Now Shifting Gears has received a positive review from the highly regarded Teachers College Record: “Shifting Gears is a text…

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