Recruit Elementary Schools

Because school site support is critical, consider launching the program with an initial set of priority elementary schools that can be expanded upon every year, until the program reaches all of the targeted students. These initial schools can help to inspire others to join in later years. Because this program does require support and commitment from the school site, we recommend inviting sites to participate on a voluntary basis rather than mandating their involvement.

Here are some key questions to consider when selecting a school to launch success mentors:

  • Does the school site have significant needs, as reflected in high levels of chronic absence or poverty? Sometimes a school that is positioned to launch the program has a high level of poverty but has already been engaged in attendance improvement efforts.

  • Is the principal committed and engaged in improving the school’s academic achievement levels?

  • Are there student support staff, such as social workers, counselors, and parent liaisons who can help organize the work?

  • Does the school already have a functioning principal-led team with the capacity to organize the school’s attendance strategy and problem solve as needed for the success mentor program?

  • Will community partners offer additional support to help with program implementation?