Student Engagement & Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships

The following are some key questions focused on how to assess Student Engagement as it relates to the Rigor-Relevance-Relationships framework.

  1. Are different types of students motivated and encouraged to become engaged throughout the school? How?
  • differently-abled students
  • disengaged students
  • low-income students
  • different student sub-cultures
  • students from minority populations
  • Is there an active recruitment program?
  • Are current student leaders encouraged to nurture their successors?
  • Are the students given training in leadership skills and/or procedural matters?
  • Is Student Engagement visible in activities, programs, services and policy-making throughout the school? How or why not?
  • Are mentors assigned to coach Student Engagement?
  • What resources does the school provide to support Student Engagement?
    • travel budgets
    • telephone/fax/e-mail budget or access
    • budget to conduct consultations
  • Are students actively encouraged to speak at meetings?
  • Are there active measures within the school to promote a positive image of students among adults? What are those measures?
  • Are student issues addressed from a positive, present, and powerful perspective?
  • What steps are taken to prepare for turnover among the students and adults who are involved in promoting Student Engagement?
  • Describe the ways in which the process was made more flexible to accommodate Student Engagement.
  • Describe the ways in which the time lines/deadlines were adjusted to allow time for Student Engagement.
  • Describe the ways in which the current process of Student Engagement was built upon existing Student Voice activities.
  • Is there an elected/appointed official responsible for encouraging Student Engagement?
  • Is/are the staff assigned to ensure that Student Engagement is meaningful?
  • Are adults asked to volunteer to mentor individual students in the process of fostering Student Engagement?
  • Are students asked to volunteer to mentor individual adults in the process of fostering Student Engagement?
  • Are there any parallel goals or can the mission of your school be assisted by Student Engagement? Describe the connections, if possible.
    1. What steps are taken to make the issues in your program relevant to students?
    2. How are the student participants recognized?
    3. What competencies are being explicitly developed among the Student and Adult Partners?
    4. What steps/actions are taken to ensure the process is fun?
    5. What opportunities are provided for student to form friendships beyond Student Engagement activities?
    6. What procedures are used for students to check-in and to be accounted for? (security and safety issues)?

    1. How do students involved in fostering Student Engagement consult other students? How often? On what?
    2. How do they seek guidance from adults? How often?
    3. Does Student Engagement have…
    • clearly stated goals?
    • a plan of action?
    • time limits /deadlines?
  • Are students expected to make representations on behalf of the whole group, even though they might not entirely agree?
  • How are students ensuring that their health/family/schoolwork/friends/do not suffer because they are involved?
  • Are students selected to be heard, and how does that happen?
  • Do, or how does, the student partner report to other students?
  • Find more resources on student engagement at
    Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

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