Agency, Belonging, and Connectedness Resources

Student support efforts often focus on the ABC’s – Attendance, Behavior/Well-Being, and Coursework – as they are key drivers of student success and progress in school. At the same time, research and experience also point to the critical role that students’ senses of agency, belonging, and school connectedness play in both wellness and success in school. If students have a sense of agency, belonging, and school connectedness, they are much more likely to attend school on a regular basis, have better mental health and do well academically. This makes them the foundational abc’s.

Browse the resources here to learn more about agency, belonging, and school connectedness, including actions your school can take to ensure students have all the foundational abc’s needed to succeed in school. 

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Students are more motivated to learn when they are able to take on an active role in their learning, and exercise both choice and voice. The below resources explain in more depth what student agency means, and how schools can cultivate student agency to increase student engagement and success.

Student Agency for 2030 (OECD)

In 2015, the OECD launched the Future of Education and Skills 2030 project, which aims help education systems determine the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values

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Students with a strong sense of belonging are more likely to attend school regularly, be engaged in school and to perform well academically. The below resources explore the dimensions of a student’s sense of belonging, and offer strategies for improving belonging.

Brené Brown on Empathy (video)

Building trusted relationships within any group, including among those in co-deigning sessions, is critical. This animated short from RSA is narrated by Brené Brown, and

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Students who feel connected to school are more likely to have positive attendance, educational, behavioral, and health outcomes in adolescence and into adulthood. The below resources describe aspects of student connectedness, and how to foster connectedness in schools.

Centering School Connectedness

As featured in NASBE’s The State Education Standard – Fostering school connectedness is an effective, universal prevention measure that affects many important student outcomes. Students

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What Works: School Connectedness

California Safe and Supportive Schools brief summarizes evidence on the importance of school connectedness, with practical tips for what teachers and adults can do right

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