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California PACEs Action

Five Ways to Help Students Feel Connected at School Again []


By Jennifer De Forest and Karen Vanausdal, Greater Good Magazine, Augsut 22, 2022

In the tumult of shifting to virtual school during the pandemic, one of our children came bouncing out of her room full of energy. This was a noticeable shift from her usual subdued mood after a full day of Zoom school.

What was different? Her teacher had left the digital meeting room open for three extra minutes so that students could connect with one another after their lesson. “It was like being at our lockers in the hallway again!,” she said. This seemingly simple act had reinvigorated her connection and engagement to school in a way that carried her well beyond that brief encounter.

To learn from students themselves about their wholly unusual 2021 back-to-school experience, YouthTruth (where one of us works) surveyed over 11,000 middle and high school students in 103 schools across 32 school systems in 11 states. (You can see all the results from our four-part series here.) Attuned to the power of those proverbial three locker minutes, students who have come of age through the pandemic are imploring us to design the school experience to build in the time for them to build friendships and “IRL” connections.

[Please click here to read more.]

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