Don't be fooled. This amazing new logo IS OURS here at the national office of Check & Connect at the University of Minnesota. We are replacing the long-standing graduation cap logo starting this summer.
We are excited to upgrade and renew our logo as it reflects the quality relationship between a mentor a student and illustrates the celebration of successes with and among students.
For sites implementing Check & Connect and using our current (mortarboard) logo, please begin using our new logo as soon as possible. You may request the new files and Style Guide by emailing Megan Dushin at email@example.com.
Research tells us that students who miss 10% or more of school days are at a higher risk for disengagement and dropping out before completion of high school (see Early Warning Systems in Education: Resources & Tools). And logic tells us that if students are not in class receiving instruction, they are not as likely to … Continue reading →
C&C's Attend-Engage-Invest Blog offers stories, perspectives, and resources on dropout, student engagement, and related topics. Comments are welcome! You can also follow our blog via email (enter your email in the upper right of any blog page) for immediate announcements of new posts.
Whether you're connecting with your mentees or helping your mentees be more present in their own lives, gaining skills in mindfulness can be useful to Check & Connect mentors. These articles provide some tips for becoming more present as you work with youth and their families:
- Building Positive Relationships By Being Present, by Janet Heubach, Ph.D., of Mentoring Works (we like the Square Breathing exercise!)
- The Power of Presence in Positive, Trusting Relationships, a reflection on Daniel Siegel's talk at the University of Minnesota and its relevance to Check & Connect mentors, on the Attend-Engage-Invest blog.
- MindUP™ is a research-based training program for educators and children.This program is composed of 15 lessons based in neuroscience. Students learn to self-regulate behavior and mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success. MindUP™ lessons align with all state standards including Common Core and support improved academic performance while enhancing perspective taking, empathy and kindness as well as fostering complex problem solving skills.
In 2006, members from the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative (a program of the Community Service Council) — Center for Community School Strategies, Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), Tulsa Public Schools, and the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau — forged an alliance to bring Check & Connect to Tulsa as a prevention initiative.
Scope: Check & Connect Tulsa is implemented in two elementary schools and one middle school, however the social worker at one high school also implements Check & Connect strategies, collects/monitors data, and attends Check & Connect monthly team meetings.
Outcomes: Check & Connect Tulsa began an extensive data collection and analysis process in 2015. The data reveals that Check & Connect leads to positive outcomes for Tulsa’s schools and children, particularly those children who are challenged by chronic absence, poverty, and homelessness. See specific details in their report, Finding What Works: Data & Results Report - Fall Semester 2015.
Preparation and Implementation Training
A 1-day training for education administrators and lead staff (decision-making stakeholders) to gain a thorough overview of Check & Connect and its background as well as information about how to prepare their site for implementing Check & Connect. Researchers, community professionals, and others interested in the Check & Connect model are also welcome to attend. Note that training for Check & Connect mentors follows this 1-day training on June 23-24. Cost: $295 per participant.
- St. Paul, MN • June 22, 2016 (register by June 1)
- St. Paul, MN • August 10, 2016 (register by July 20)
A 2-day in-depth, competency-based training designed to provide Check & Connect mentors with the information, competencies, and skills needed to be an effective Check & Connect mentor at their local site. This training is designed for those assigned the role of Check & Connect mentor as well as those interested in Check & Connect mentoring principles and practices. Check & Connect site coordinators and administrators are also encouraged to attend. Cost: $575 per participant.
- St. Paul, MN • June 23-24, 2016 (register by June 2)
- St. Paul, MN • August 11-12, 2016 (register by July 21)
Comprehensive Implementation Training
Check & Connect's Comprehensive Implementation Training is a comprehensive 2-day training blending elements of both the Preparation and Implementation Training and the Mentor Training. This training provides participants with a thorough overview of Check & Connect and its background; how to prepare their site for implementing Check & Connect; and the information, competencies, and skills needed to be an effective Check & Connect mentor at their site. Cost: $575 per participant.
See more training dates in the full schedule of 2016 trainings.
C&C In the News
Dekalb County Schools works to shrink dropout rates
WSB-TV Atlanta • April 27, 2016
News piece highlights how Georgia's Dekalb County Schools are using Check & Connect to offer a personal approach for helping students succeed in school. Exciting to hear that Mary Mcleod Bethune Middle School's discipline referrals were cut in half in this first year of implementation. Thank you C&C mentors for helping these students, and Darnell Logan, Ed.D. for spearheading this effort at DCS!
Using Data to Drive Action: Portraits of Chronic Absence
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2:00:00 PM EDT - 3:30:00 PM EDT
What can we learn from states and communities that are already using their local chronic absence data to raise awareness about the impact of absences on student achievement? Join the partners in the Attendance Awareness Campaign as we focus on how state and local innovators are already using chronic absence analyses to galvanize action to reduce chronic absence.
On the Loud Speaker: David Johns
President Obama's pick to head the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans knows that all children can succeed if we expect them to. In this interview with Loudspeaker Films' Kelly Amis, we see David Johns in action, passionately addressing students from pre-K to high school as well as an audience of teachers ready to help transform education in America. We also learn how a young boy growing up in "The Jungles" of Inglewood, California ended up leading this national initiative at the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about David Johns' work, go to http://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa. To learn more about Loudspeaker Films, go to http://www.loudspeakerfilms.com.
True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It
This article by Edutopia reminds us how to teach perseverance: "One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn't social intelligence. It wasn't good looks, physical health, and it wasn't IQ. It was grit."
Expanding the Circle: Transition Resources for American Indian Students
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota
Some of you may be fans of the Expanding the Circle: Preparing for the Future (ETC) transition curriculum for American Indian high school students developed at the Institute on Community Integration in 2002. We have great news! We are in the process of updating the curriculum and expect it to be available in the Fall of 2016. The curriculum has been implemented broadly with American Indian and non-Indian students in grades 6-12 and at the postsecondary level. Many Check & Connect mentors have implemented lessons from ETC as apart of their transition work with students. Watch for the new and improved publication this fall, and learn more about ETC at etc.umn.edu.