Filed under Chris Opsal

Why Check & Connect Encourages Participation in Extracurricular Activities

Why Check & Connect Encourages Participation in Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are “Activities, under the sponsorship or direction of a school, of the type for which participation generally is not required and credit generally is not awarded” (ERIC thesaurus, 2014). Participating in these after-school activities—including sports teams, clubs, student government, theater, etc.—can be beneficial for all students. This blog post shares what the Check & … Continue reading

Implementing with Fidelity: Parent Engagement

Implementing with Fidelity: Parent Engagement

The four core components of Check & Connect are: a mentor who makes a two-year commitment to students and families; systematic monitoring of educational progress; timely, personalized intervention; and family engagement. While each of these components is necessary to implementing Check & Connect with fidelity, sites often find it especially difficult to implement component 4, … Continue reading

Evidence-Based Interventions in Education (Part II): A Tour of Check & Connect’s What Works Clearinghouse Report

Evidence-Based Interventions in Education (Part II): A Tour of Check & Connect’s What Works Clearinghouse Report

When we refer to Check & Connect as an evidence-based intervention, we mean that it has rigorous scientific research behind it to suggest that it’s an effective student engagement and dropout prevention intervention. Many people learn about Check & Connect and its evidence from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), where it’s recognized as the only … Continue reading

Preparing for Summer: Part II: Ideas from Sites

Preparing for Summer: Part II: Ideas from Sites

We asked sites currently implementing Check & Connect (C&C) to tell us about how they stay connected with their C&C mentees over the summer, if they do (some schools implement C&C as a 9-month intervention). We heard back from several sites representing different approaches to “connecting” over the summer, from informal to detailed and systematic. … Continue reading

Engagement: A Brief Visual Overview of an Educational Buzzword

Engagement: A Brief Visual Overview of an Educational Buzzword

It’s not just Check & Connect—“engagement” has been an educational buzzword since the ‘90s. It even has its own Wikipedia entry. Despite ubiquitous use of the term, researchers, educators, and intervention programs each have their own definition of “engagement” (we’ll dig deeper on Check & Connect’s definition in a future blog post). Appleton, Christenson, and … Continue reading

Toward Engagement Nation: A Review of PBS’ Dropout Nation

Toward Engagement Nation: A Review of PBS’ Dropout Nation

PBS’ recent FRONTLINE documentary “Dropout Nation” (available online) provides an inside look at the American high school dropout crisis. Contrary to its name, “Dropout Nation” focuses on one high school, Sharpstown High School (SHS) in Houston, TX. SHS had once been labeled a “dropout factory,” but has since been reconstituted and is now turning around, … Continue reading