For Immediate Release
Posted: January 13, 2023


Kim Houghton, Communications Administrator
(603) 513-3030 |

ENGAGE program supports students, breaks down barriers to school engagement

CONCORD, NH — Since its launch four months ago, 22 school districts are now taking advantage of ENGAGE New Hampshire – a new student success program in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Education and Graduation Alliance. 

ENGAGE New Hampshire pairs students with a personal Academic Success Coach who helps promote school engagement and remove barriers to attendance. Students receive help navigating academic and social-emotional challenges through resources, tips, and a listening ear from their coach. To date, more than 1,000 New Hampshire students have been referred to ENGAGE for assistance.

“Through ENGAGE we are expanding the support network for students that may need a little extra encouragement. Most students enrolled in the program are in touch with their coach multiple times a week, receiving motivational messages and progress check-ins and talking one-on-one through any challenges they may be facing,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “ENGAGE has also identified some of the obstacles our students are experiencing so that schools can intervene and provide support directly to students based on their individual needs.”

Eighty-three percent of students in grades K-5 and 74% of students in grades 6-12 who responded to a barrier assessment reported not having access to reliable transportation to and from school. Fourteen percent of students in grades 6-12 who responded to the barrier assessment said they didn’t know how to contact their teachers. This type of information is critically helpful to educators since it identifies students that may need additional guidance or support. Concurrently, coaches can help students get connected with their teachers and other resources at their schools.

“Our coach was very attentive and made me feel like our needs were truly heard,” Carissa Vestal, an ENGAGE New Hampshire stepparent, said when asked about her family’s experience with their ENGAGE Academic Success Coach. “She helped offer ideas and was just down to earth as well as accommodating when it came to setting up calls.”

The program also helps students set goals to complete missed assignments, submit schoolwork in a timely manner and get back on track to improve academic performance. About 55% of New Hampshire families successfully contacted by the ENGAGE team have enrolled their student(s) in the program, which currently has 195 participants. For more information, visit this webpage or email Erin Luper at