Student Supports Topics

Virtual Mentoring as a Tool to Improve Student Engagement in Remote and Hybrid Learning Models

A caring relationship at school—whether it’s with a teacher, a counselor, or another student—can enhance a student’s sense of belonging and reduce absenteeism. Once a school identifies a student with problematic attendance, mentoring can improve not only attendance but also student achievement. MENTOR, a national nonprofit dedicated to the practice, cites research by Public/Private Ventures showing that students who meet regularly with mentors are 52 percent less likely to skip a day of school than similar students without such support. (Attendance Playbook, FutureEd, Georgetown University, June 2020)

Participate in a joint, collaborative effort with The Governor’s Prevention Partnership to learn the benefits of using virtual mentoring as a strategy to strengthen student engagement. Participants will learn:

  • Why relationships are key to student engagement and ways in which intentional mentor relationships can improve a student’s connection to school;
  • How to “pivot” from in-person mentoring to a virtual mentoring model;
  • What the coordination of a virtual mentoring programs entails including, virtual etiquette and considerations, permissions and consent forms; how to get started and ensure a safe experience for students; and
  • Where this is working and how it can work for their school/district.

In addition, participants will receive information on The Governor’s Prevention Partnership’s free training and technical assistance resources for integrating and implementing a mentoring program into school improvement plans.

Date: Monday, October 19, 2020



  • Charlene Russell-Tucker, Deputy Commissioner
  • John Frassinelli, Division Director
  • Kari Sullivan, Education Consultant

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership

  • Roland Harmon, Co-President, and Chief Program and Administrative Officer
  • Aristede Hill, Program Manager, Mentoring Services

Local perspective

  • Virtual mentoring and Bridgeport Public Schools
  • Michael Testani, Superintendent, Bridgeport Public Schools
  • Faith Harrison-Villegas, Executive Director, Bridgeport Public Education Fund
  • Anne Gribbons, Executive Director, School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport