What if your school’s culture centered around creating positive teacher-student connections?

Here’s how one school district changed perspectives and broke barriers using Along.

The challenge

A year after virtual learning, noticeably fewer conversations were happening in class and in the hallways. How could teachers and students reconnect with each other and transform their school environment?

The solution

Along was created by educators for educators as a free online solution to foster authentic relationships within our school environments. A pilot group of educators at Rochester Public Schools gave it a try.

The outcome

Teachers and students feel an increased connection with each other after using Along.

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 feel more connected to their teachers.

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.

88 %

of teachers said “I showed my students that they matter to me

98 %

of teachers said “I showed my students that they matter to me

Relationship building should be the absolute number one priority for any adult who is going to have students in the classroom. Teacher-student connections open doors to support academic effort and learning in the classroom. We knew that we had to find some way to offer a different kind of connection for our students and teachers, and Along filled that void for us.”

Will Ruffin, II Executive Director of Equity and Engagement, Rochester Public Schools

Students of color feel more seen and known at school.

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

All students value the opportunity to connect with their teachers.

82 %

of students of color and,

76 %

of all students, said that they look forward to receiving a new Along reflection question from their teacher

I think of those one-on-one connections as little deposits. You’re building that trust with every interaction. Every positive interaction that you are having is letting the students know that you are listening and that they can count on you and that you’re there. When you do that over time, they’re willing to reach out and tell you what they need.”

Natalia Benjamin Coordinator for Multilingual Learning, Rochester Public Schools, 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Along user

All about Rochester Public Schools

Rochester Public Schools

Rochester, Minnesota

About this survey

Rochester Public Schools piloted Along for 3 months during the 2021-2022 school year, with support from a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. At the end of the pilot, Rochester Public Schools surveyed the educators and students who used Along to understand the impact of Along from their perspectives. The survey data includes responses from 42 educators and 350 students.

About Along

Along is a first-of-its-kind teacher-student connection builder provided at no cost by Gradient Learning. Along earned a “Special Mention” on TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022 list. It was also named a 2022 “Best Tool for Back to School” by Common Sense Education, and has earned the iKeepSafe FERPA and COPPA privacy badges. To learn more about Along, visit our How it Works page:

Learn more about Along

Interested in introducing Along at your school? Bring Along to your school by filling out more information here. A member of the Along team will get in touch with you to find out how to best support your school or district.

Get in touch with our team

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