Preview of What's Coming Up for Student Connectedness

Posted by: District 1 year, 4 months ago

Preview of What's Coming Up for Student Connectedness

With another school year commencing, Superintendent Karl Mueller is looking to really connect with students. So much so, that he is upping the ante with the 2016-2017 school year theme of student connectedness.

He’s encouraging teachers and staff to get to know students outside of the classroom—getting to know each child’s passions and interests. He says, “To me, student connectedness is an understanding that children are more successful in school and more confident in pursuing their passions and their interests if they have a connection to either an adult on campus, or a club or program.”

By getting to know each student individually, teachers can then help him or her plug into their passions, and build a support system and community on campus. That means creating a robotics club if there are students interested in the subject, or promoting student ambassador or buddy-to-buddy programs to get students to engage with their peers. The idea is to create an inclusive culture where all student interests and passions are celebrated.

However, student connectedness goes beyond connecting them to the right clubs, groups and communities. Creating personal student-teacher relationships also serves to foster a safe environment for students in which they feel cared for. If a student is struggling or feels like he or she needs extra support, they’ll be more comfortable reaching out to a teacher or staff member they’ve already established a connection with.

Student connectedness really just means bringing the focus back to the health and well-being of the students. This year, faculty and staff are asking, “How are we purposefully identifying and then reaching out to students that need connections?”

To measure the effectiveness of this year’s goal, CUSD is looking to issue and implement surveys like the California Healthy Kids Survey, which will ask students if they feel cared for and connected on campus. These strategies will give faculty useful data to make decisions and set priorities to make students successful for the years to come.

“Something that we all collectively are passionate about is connectedness. And that means something different on each campus,” Mueller says. “We are creating experiences and opportunities for our students to become exceptional and we recognize that to be exceptional you have to be confident and feel that you are accepted and you belong.”