Benefits of Building Relationships in Schools

In just one year, better test scores and better attitudes have developed at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine.

They've raised standardized test scores by 15 percent and reduced absences and disciplinary problems, but it's not because of some new technology or curriculum. They say their results come from relationships. Teachers are taking time to get to know their students and classmates are becoming friends.

Noble High School, along with 19 other high schools across the country, has implemented a program called BARR. It stands for building assets, reducing risks.

Freshman are put into blocks and their assigned teachers track their grades. They meet with other teachers to identify students at risk, and design interventions. And once a week, they carve out classroom time to do team building exercises, have meaningful conversations, and form relationships.

High schools using the BARR model are reporting higher GPAs, lower drop out rates, and fewer problems with substance abuse. 

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