Students working together

Evaluation of the Engage New England Initiative

Through its evaluation of the Engage New England initiative, SRI is helping the Barr Foundation and the broader education community better understand how to design and implement innovative schools for students who are off track to graduate high school.

The Barr Foundation’s Engage New England initiative is an effort to develop exemplary demonstration high schools that support the success of students who are currently off track to graduate. Engage New England schools are anchored in positive youth development, an approach that emphasizes caring, supportive, and trusting relationships; high expectations; opportunities for student voice, choice, and contributions; engaging learning experiences; and consistency. The initiative’s goal is to empower students to take ownership of their path to graduation and a postsecondary plan by developing rigorous and purposeful learning experiences and effective and transparent academic systems, such as competency-based learning and academic case conferencing. The initiative supports school leaders to ground positive youth development in both core instructional practices and student support structures.

SRI’s study, which is examining the planning, implementation, and sustainability of these model high schools, provides formative feedback to the foundation, the technical assistance provider, and the schools to support continuous improvement. It will ultimately assess whether these innovative strategies are helping students to graduate with the competencies they need to succeed in a changing workforce.

Co-Principal Investigator: Miya Warner
Co-Principal Investigator: Kyra Caspary

Related Publications

Designing Schools with and for Students: Lessons Learned from the Engage New England Initiative

Cross-Site Learning Brief 1: Learnings from the Cohort 1 Planning Process

Cross-Site Learning Brief 2: Learnings from the Cohort 1 Launch Year

Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional Systems

Cross-Site Learning Brief 4: Early Insights from Academic Case Conferencing

Transforming High Schools to Serve Students Who Are Off Track to Graduate: Lessons Learned from the Engage New England Initiative.

Equitably Measuring Student Progress to Graduation: Insights from the Engage New England Initiative