About the National League of Cities’ Work on Student Reengagement

Alongside other devastating effects for children and families, the onset of the pandemic led to disconnection from school for millions of students nationwide. Today, almost one-third of American students are chronically absent from school and are experiencing mental health concerns that were exacerbated by the pandemic. The pandemic also exposed and worsened disparities in academic performance and attendance among youth of color.

This trend has potential long-term implications for city leaders, particularly when it comes to meeting the educational levels necessary for future workforce needs and moving families out of poverty. Data also emphasizes the need for mentoring and tutoring programs, mental health services, and high-quality after-school and summer learning programs. City leaders have a vital role to play in helping their community’s youth recover from the pandemic.

NLC has developed guidelines and best practices for leaders interested in addressing student reengagement through the lens of implementing and supporting Community School strategies, promoting equity in educational settings, and addressing chronic absenteeism.

Go Deeper: Student Reengagement

Learn more about how city leaders can support student reengagement through various resources created with subject matter experts.

NLC student reengagement Resources

Case Studies

Learn how NLC’s member cities are supporting strong student reengagement through various approaches, including Community Schools, promoting equity in educational settings, and addressing chronic absenteeism.

CitiesSpeak student reengagement Blogs

In 2020, NLC, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Annie E Casey Foundation, began a three-year project aimed at addressing student reengagement. NLC partner organizations on this work include the Institute for Educational Leadership/Coalition for Community Schools, Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium, and Attendance Works.