SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state says nearly 16,000 New Mexico students received free academic coaching last year, and 71% of high school seniors in the program graduated. A report from the Public Education Department states the following since the start of the ENGAGE News Mexico program in spring 2020:
- 38,515 students were referred by educators or families
- 22,806 families responded to outreach
- 15,883 families accepted academic coaching
- The average was 35.5 coaching sessions per student
The Engage New Mexico program was part of an effort between PED and Graduation Alliance that focused on re-enrolling high school students who separated from school due to the pandemic, were chronically absent, were considered academically at-risk, were homeless, or in foster care, or who requested additional support.
PED reports in a press release that the program expended over the pandemic year and eventually served students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Of the state’s 187 districts and state-chartered schools, the department says 134 of them participated in the program and referred a total of 38,515 students over the year.
The program connected to those families via phone, email, text, social media, and mail to offer academic coaching with almost 70% of them responding to the outreach to accept coaching. Students who opted-in were then asked a series of questions to help counselors assign them to the appropriate intervention support level.
According to PED, the questions discovered that 17% of sixth to 12th graders in the program lacked adult engagement in their school work, 18% had responsibilities caring for siblings, 36% of 11th and 12th graders had commitments outside of school, and 49% of families in the program with students in kindergarten through 5th grade didn’t know how to use educational technology.
PED states that ENGAGE New Mexico had no access to attendance and grade data for students who received coaching and instead conducted surveys of districts, parents, and students to determine the program’s success. Results showed high percentages in each group reported that participating students had maintained or increased school engagement.