When teachers and students at Rochester Public Schools (RPS) in Rochester, Minnesota, came back together in person for the 2021-22 school year, it wasn’t business as usual.
School leaders noticed a different vibe on its campuses—the hallways were more quiet than they remembered and there was a very real feeling of disconnection.
Will Ruffin II, Executive Director of Equity and Engagement at RPS, said that they were looking for a solution to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for students.
“We started using Along as a way to help bridge connections between teachers and students, and to build up our schools’ pride and culture,” Ruffin II said.
After a three-month Along pilot, RPS administered a survey to Along users to understand its impact. The results revealed that more than 80% of teachers and students felt increased connection with each other since using Along, an offering of Gradient Learning.
The survey also showed the following:
Educators connected more openly and could engage differently in the classroom after using Along.
- 81% of teachers said that Along helped them be more open with their students
- 76% of teachers said Along felt connected to important topics in their classroom
Students felt more connected with their teachers after using Along.
- 83% of students said that Along has helped their teacher get to know them
- 76% of students said that Along has helped them be more open with their teacher
Along builds positive teacher-student relationships. After using Along, 98% of teachers said they “showed my students that they matter to me.”
The survey further highlighted how Along helped to specifically connect the diverse student population of RPS to teachers.
After using Along, students of color felt more seen and known:
- 84% of students of color said that Along helped their teacher get to know them
- 83% of students of color said that using Along has helped their teacher be more open with them
For more information about the RPS survey, please visit this page.