The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national study of 36,000 7th to 12th grade students. School connectedness was indicated as the strongest factor for both boys and girls in preventing substance abuse, violence and absenteeism. School connectedness was the second-most important factor (after family) in helping students avoid suicide, emotional problems and eating disorders. Students who feel connected to their school are also more likely to have better academic achievement, including higher grades and test scores, have better school attendance, and stay in school longer.
The CDC defines school connectedness as the belief held by students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals. What are the factors that can increase school connectedness? The CDC provides three free comprehensive booklets about promoting school connectedness for school administrators and districts, teachers and other staff, and parents and families. You can download the booklets here.