Relationships are the positive connections between students, adults and peers in the school setting that foster positive social interaction and establish a nurturing environment of trust and support.
Students who feel connected to school are more likely to succeed-- they have better school attendance, grades, and test scores and stay in school longer. Building these relationships require perspectives that embrace positive attitudes and beliefs, cultural and linguistic competence, an understanding of the needs and experiences of students, and an understanding of the school environment.
Students who feel connected to school are less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, become involved in violence and other dangerous activities. These students are also less likely to experience emotional problems.
Second only to family, school is the most important stabilizing force in the lives of young people. The school environment provides a natural setting to foster positive relationships among student, adults and peers. Building positive relationships within the school environment involves certified staff, classified staff, students, community, and family members.
The relationships formed between students and school staff members are at the heart of school connectedness. Students who perceive their teachers and school administrators as creating a caring, well-structured learning environment in which expectations are high, clear and fair are more likely to be connected to school. (Blum, Robert, School Connectedness: Improving the Lives of Students, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore Maryland, 2005).