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Focus Area Policy Brief: Teacher and Mentor Relationships

In February 2016, a student survey was administered to all 6th, 8th, and 11th grade students in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). The survey asked students to report on their experiences of school across a number of areas including relationships with teachers, mentor relationships, support resources, negative experiences of school, social belonging, motivations to attend school, perceptions of discipline, inclusive classrooms, and the salience of race and gender for social identity and relationships. An extensive analysis of this survey was conducted and summarized in a report released in April 2016, Assessing Student Experiences Survey Report (Bruch et al. 2016). Drawing on the findings from the Report, three focus areas have been identified for theDistrict: teacher and mentor relationships; inclusive community; and disciplinary environment.

This focus area brief concentrates on inclusive school environment and community. Briefs have also been prepared for teacher and mentor relationship and disciplinary environment. Each brief answers the following questions:

  1. Why is this particular aspect of student experience important?

  2. What is the extent of the problem in regard to this aspect of student experience in the ICCSD?

  3. What are the strategies for intervening that have been shown in the education research literature to be effective?

  4. What are the evidence-based recommendations that can inform the ICCSD decision-making process?

Bruch, S., Haynes, H. L., & Hylka, A. Focus Area Policy Brief: Teacher and Mentor Relationships.