Untapped Potential: Engaging All Connecticut Youth

Reads and Resources

This report calls attention to the needs of “disengaged and disconnected youth” in Connecticut–students who show signs that they are not fully absorbed by their educational experiences, and students who aren’t enrolled in school at all anymore. According to the report, one in five high school students in Connecticut is either disengaged or disconnected, and 88% of drop outs previously showed signs of not being engaged (poor attendance, behavior, or academic attainment). Of those who dropped out between 2012 and 2014, the report says, only 1% ever went back and attained a high school diploma. Therefore, there is a clear need to focus on addressing disengagement in order to prevent disconnection. The report highlights both student attendance and student mobility between schools as warning signs of disengagement, and it suggests three promising points of intervention when focused investments might pay off:

(1)    Re-engagement during the transition to high school;

(2)    Re-engagement during the second year of high school; and

(3)    Targeting the unique needs of over-age students who are disengaged.

Examples of effective practices to use during these points of intervention are also provided (personalization, building relationships with adults, and building students’ connections to the larger world). Although there’s ultimately no silver bullet, this report provides interesting data about trends for these groups, how they might be better served, and areas for further investigation.
Read the full report here.