Board Hears Merits of Positive Connections

Stronger Bonds With Kids and Adults
Posted on 04/20/2018
Image of News Sign(courtesy Akron.com/West Side Leader)

Students can achieve success in school by developing positive relationships with teachers and other adults, the Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education learned at the April 16 meeting.

APS Community Relations Director Carla Sibley and other staff members discussed the concept of “school connectedness,” in which students feel adults care about them and their academic success.

According to the presentation, school connectedness can protect students from substance abuse, violence, early sexual initiation and school absenteeism. A study by Panorama Education showed 60 percent of students with no positive relationships with adults had difficulty in school.

By contrast, 80 percent of students with even one positive relationship with an adult reported having a successful school experience, according to the presentation.

Andrew Ziccardi, the school climate coordinator, said school safety team members spent 70 percent of their time building positive relationships with students, compared to fivepercent on discipline and consequences.

Sibley said APS is promoting diversity and inclusion by asking the question, “Who is not at the table?”

For example, she discovered that some non-English speakers were not attending the annual Backpack Adventure at the Akron Zoo. This summer, those students will be provided with buses to the event, as well as translators for the zoo experience. Read more >>.
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