Campbell High School Mentoring Students through Check and Connect.
Campbell High School incorporates a student engagement and mentoring intervention, Check and Connect, for students at risk of disengaging with school. Check and Connect is supported through Campbell’s Student Success Center, created to enable a “one stop shop” where students can go for academic and behavioral support.
Check and Connect is a comprehensive student engagement intervention, focused on increasing engagement and dropout prevention via relationship building, problem solving, capacity building, and persistence. There are four core components of Check and Connect:
(1) Mentoring – a mentor collaborating with students and families for at least two years;
(2) Check – regularly checking student attendance, behavioral, and academic data;
(3) Connect – ongoing sessions where data-based interventions are developed between the student and mentor, with the goal of reestablishing and maintaining student connection to school through enhancement of social and academic competencies;
(4) Engagement with families – mentors engage with families with a strengths-based approach, encouraging active family participation.
The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse found Check and Connect to be the only dropout prevention intervention with strong evidence of positive effects for staying in school (checkandconnect.umn.edu).
Check and Connect is in its second year of implementation at Campbell High School, reaching over 70 students using the Student Success Center. The Student Success Center is a “one stop shop” – developed to support students academically and with social and emotional skills and to provide needed mentoring support. What started as a small room with four computers has turned into a dedicated space with 24 computers and additional support staff. Led by Student Success Coordinator Eddie Shaner, Check and Connect is viewed as an essential component to improve student outcomes. Shaner noted that Campbell, supported fully by administration, realized that Check and Connect was the missing link they needed. “After we finished the Check and Connect training, we were all in, as we saw the intervention as a catch all for everything we needed. But we also knew we had to create our own direction. When we began, we had two main areas of focus: student attendance and ensuring we as mentors served as the barrier between discipline issues. The Student Success Center provides students an opportunity to take a breath, and to talk through strategies. The key is that students have a trusted adult to talk to. We can be that listening ear – and that’s how you win kids over and build trust.”
Five core mentors serve as ongoing Check and Connect support at Campbell, with new mentors to be added. Students have continued to be supported by their mentors during the pandemic, with phone calls, online sessions, and home visits. The mentoring team is looking to collaborate even more with teachers during this second year of implementation, sharing student data and identifying strategies together to keep kids in school.
Kelly McNabb, Supervisor
Positive School Culture
Contributing Author: Kathleen Greb, District PBIS Coach