Back-to-School: Middle School Engagement

Attendance and success in middle school are critical in keeping students on track for on-time graduation and preparing them to continue their education after high school or secure a self-sustaining job.

In many ways, middle school represents a period of transition and evolution. It can be difficult for students to remain engaged and persist into high school, especially for students who struggled academically in elementary school, who have experienced trauma or have mental health and/or identity issues.

To increase the chances of success, students must have safe school and home environments, positive interactions with adults and peers and feel a sense of empowerment as they mature into young adults.

As we approach a new school year, we invite you to learn more about middle school engagement and find out what United Way is doing to help middle school students in our region.

Preparing for a New School Year: Middle School

Middle school can be a tough time for both students and parents. We have some tips on what you can do to make middle school a success. Learn more.

Steps to a Successful School Year: Middle School Engagement

What makes middle school engagement so important? What is United Way doing to support students, schools and communities? Learn more in our four-part series covering everything from pre-K to high school graduation!

Middle School Engagement: What it is & Why it Matters

Make sure to check out our two-part article with everything you need to know about middle school engagement:

  • Part I provides an overview of the issue and explains the role of positive youth development in keeping students engaged. Read more.
  • Part II dives deep into the data on how middle schoolers in our region are doing. Read more.

Program Highlight

We talked to NextUp’s Barbara Couto Sipe about the importance of after-school programs and how schools and parents can take advantage of these programs to help keep kids engaged. Read the interview.

Supported Agencies

Hear from leaders at our funded agencies that support the Middle School Engagement Step.

Middle School Engagement: By the Numbers

Our new online data hub tracks data related to middle school engagement. Indicators include SOL scores, attendance and suspensions and expulsions. Learn more and see how our region is doing.