Small Private Sector Interventions for Big Improvements

Too many of Hartford’s high school students aren’t graduating, and too many of those who do graduate aren’t ready for college or career. While the school district figures out how to significantly improve the high school learning experience and address truancy, the private sector can find new ways to address the lack of support for high school students tapping key areas of expertise.  With both the public and private sectors working hard to support students, we hope to drastically improve outcomes in neighborhood high schools, where 2018 chronic absenteeism rates averaged 50%.


We hold a unique position in Hartford that allows us to build teams of experts who can coordinate resources they already have to directly impact student outcomes.


Our action teams remove barriers and design improvement strategies to address the unique needs of students in their high school community. Our work is collaborative; we convene school leaders, teachers, business and non-profit partners, as well as leaders from higher ed and philanthropy. We’re passionate about developing Hartford students academically, socially and emotionally, enabling them to graduate prepared for postsecondary schooling and training.

Our Current Teams:

Health and Wellness:

Hartford students often come from neighborhoods where poverty is persistent. In the Promise Zone neighborhoods family per capita income is below $13,600 . In the Clay Arsenal and Northeast neighborhoods over 50% of families are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . Students in poverty move from one house to another twice as often as students not in poverty , and they experience more community violence, from an unsafe home neighborhood or a dangerous path to school . Overall, they experience 35% more daily stresses than families not in poverty . All these factors and multiple other effects of poverty can negatively affect mind, body, and school performance . Teachers who work with students experiencing these effects are susceptible to second hand chronic stress.

The focus of the Weaver Health and Wellness Work Group is to provide research-based supports to both teachers and students to alleviate teacher and student stress to increase academic performance.


The scope of the health and wellness programming includes mental, emotional, and physical health, serving rising 9th grade students through high school graduation, and serving all teachers and staff grades 9-12.

1 American Community Survey estimated per capita income between 2011-2015. (May 2017) Retrieved from

2 2011-2015 US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder. (May 2017) American Community Survey, Food stamps/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Retrieved from 7

3 Federman et al., 1996

4 Schwartz & Gorman, 2003

5 Attar et al., 1994


9th Grade Summer Institute

North Hartford students live in the capital of the state with the nation’s most significant and persistent achievement gap[1]. Within the four North Hartford neighborhood elementary schools, less than 18% of students are on grade level in English Language Arts and less than 12% are on grade level in Math[2]. These statistics represent and epidemic in low achievement and sentence children to a lifetime of challenges associated with under-education. Research also shows that with a quality academic experience students can significantly increase achievement levels in a short period of time.

Summer learning opportunities have been shown to eliminate summer slide and, improve standardized test scores, and better prepare students for the coming school year.

The Weaver Summer Institute Team seeks to prepare rising 9th grade students for entry into Weaver High School by improving skill levels in English Language Arts and Math proficiency, as well as other social emotional indicators proven to reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates.


The scope of The Summer Institute program includes academic remediation and social emotional support, serving rising 9th grade students planning to enter Weaver High School in the fall 2019.

7 Beecher, Lara. (January 27, 2016). Office of Legislative Research Report: 2015 ACHIEVEMENT GAP DATA. Retrieved from

8 how many students in your school system are at grade level in math and English., Jake Kara, September 6, 2018.

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  • Achieve Hartford!
    221 Main Street, #3
    Hartford, CT 06106

  • (860) 244-3333

  • [email protected]


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