“What about yo’ friends?”: How a focus on peer relationships impacted students’ sense of belonging and 3.0+ GPA attainment

75-min | Livestreamed
Focus Areas: Educator Development; Equity, Diversity, and Belonging; Student and staff social emotional wellbeing; System Transformation Toward Continuous Improvement; Improvement Capability; Student Attainment

When adults in schools develop relationships with students, they often focus on how much a student likes them individually. However, The Network for College Success asked educators to intentionally build relationships between students in and out of classrooms as the propellant for increased GPAs during the 9th-grade year. In this session, we will model as hub leaders how we set conditions to develop teacher leaders’ capacity for racial equity and continuous improvement. We will demonstrate how a focus on developing peer relationships between students deepened educators’ ability to collaborate with their colleagues and mobilize them in service of our common aim: increased students’ GPA and sense of belonging.


Lauren Perez Pietruszka, Freshman Success Coach, CI & Data Lead, UChicago Network for College Success
Joyce Randall, Freshman Success Coach, Strategy Lead, UChicago Network for College Success