School Connectedness Table

School Connectedness

What it means:

What students do:

How students feel:

What schools can do:



A sense of belonging, being valued, and connected at school

Work cooperatively, join in discussions, participate in clubs, activities and special projects; engage in classroom activities, decisions about school life; participate in leadership activities

I feel worthwhile and valued by my friends, classmates,  and teachers

Provide clear criteria for learning; acknowledge  achievement; model inclusivity; make student learning meaningful and relevant to students’ present and future lives



A sense of being able to meet the challenges of the school day and being recognized for one’s talents

Time on task, sharing attention, persevering when tasks are difficult, volunteering ideas and solutions, caring for others, staying in school

I have strengths and gifts that are recognized by myself and others; I use my strengths to meet my goals; I feel a sense of accomplishment and worth; I am responsible for my own learning

Celebrate and build on students’ strengths and help them compensate for any challenges or barriers to learning; incorporate assessment for learning strategies into classrooms; have optimism about each student’s future



A sense of being responsible and able to make one’s own decisions

Being aware of and empathetic to the needs of others; accepting loss or defeat, renewing efforts; dealing with bullying, intimidation and harassment

I can make responsible decisions based on my needs and the needs of others; I am responsible for making healthy lifestyle choices; I advocate for healthy choices for myself and others

Involve students in planning, problem solving, identifying issues and assessing curriculum in the classroom, knowing that students are more likely to succeed if they take ownership of their own learning



A sense of feeling included, connected, close to family, peers, and other significant individuals

Talking with others, showing sensitivity to others, giving and receiving support and encouragement; volunteering

I belong; I’m part of one or more groups  in my community: I feel included, encouraged and supported by others

Understand and teach that a positive relationship between student and teacher can foster school connectedness and why that is important; adults take responsibility for getting to know their students and developing positive and supportive relationships with students in a variety of school settings