The Good News About Relationships

A positive adult influence in a student's life is widely accepted as a key factor in high school success and graduation. The survey asked students to react to the statement: "There is at least one adult in my school who cares about me and knows me well." It appears most students within Kent ISD have little trouble relating to their teachers or another adult at their school, although disengaged students were less likely to report this relationship.

  • A solid 77% of all students reported having at least one adult at their school who cared about them and knew them well
  • For the satisfied students (those who indicated they were satisfied with their high school experience) 81% said they knew such an adult at school, but among those reporting dissatisfaction with school, only 56% reported having this support
  • At 74%, a large majority said that teachers spent enough time with them to help them succeed

Relationship Chart

- An average of 80.5% of students said their teachers provided "the level of support I need to be successful in my course" for subjects including language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and world languages.

Teacher Relationship chart


- Regardless of relationships, most students (72%) say they are not able to choose which teachers they have for their classes.

Parent support is another key factor in student success. A large majority - nearly 80% - of students report that their parents encourage them to do their best. Only 10% of students say they do not get this basic level of academic support

• 54% of students said parents talked with them about their studies, but only 41% said their parents help them with homework

• Almost half of parents meet with their student's teachers, but only 43% attend school functions

Extra-curricular activities seemed to enhance relationships; 85% of students say they have plenty of opportunities for these activities, and nearly three-quarters of the students said they do participate in activities and school events with their friends

• 71% reported being involved in extra-curricular activities and 74% said if they had greater flexibility in scheduling, they could be involved in more

• Only a quarter of the students report they are involved in no activities and listed problems with their schedule or lack of interest as the most common reasons


"She is not just a teacher; she is someone who is there for you and who brightens your day." East Kentwood student

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." Dan Rather, broadcast journalist

"She is not just a teacher; she is someone who is there for you and who brightens your day."
-- East Kentwood student 

'We must value students, respect them...."
-- Kent ISD superintendent

"The guts of teaching is simple - it is the relationship between a teacher and a group of kids."
-- Professor Howard Willson, University of York
More about professor Willson