About Us

Our Mission

The National Center for School Engagement (NCSE), collaborates with school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, and state and federal agencies to support youth and their families to be engaged at school. We pay special attention to school engagement, attendance, dropout prevention, and the mental health needs of students and staff.

National Center for School Engagement

The NCSE Approach

NCSE integrates the Three A’s necessary for school success: Attendance, Attachment, and Achievement

NCSE’s mission is to improve school engagement to ensure school success for at-promise youth and their families. We measure school success in terms of positive educational outcomes leading to high school graduation and a transition to continuous learning in an educational or work setting.

School engagement is the centerpiece of NCSE’s work to improve outcomes for youth who are at the greatest risk of substance abuse, delinquency, and dropping out of school. School engagement refers to students and families being actively involved in learning at school. It includes school, family and community partnerships dedicated to school completion for every child.

It’s not enough to get students to school — they need support to stay in school and be engaged in learning. The NCSE approach to school success is based on an integration of the 3 A’s of school engagement


Promoting Attendance

Promoting Attendance involves designing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based strategies to reduce excused and unexcused absences.


Promoting Attachment

Promoting Attachment involves building meaningful connections between school, students, and their families through cultural awareness, caring, support, and mutually-defined expectations. It includes developing positive school climates, family and community engagement, and student-focused programs and activities.


Promoting Achievement

Promoting Achievement involves ensuring that students have the tools and resources to complete courses and graduate from high school well-prepared for the future.

Our History

National Center for School EngagementThe National Center for School Engagement was established in 2004 based on over a decade of educational research conducted by Colorado Foundation for Families and Children. Since then, NCSE has generated a host of resources about what we call the three A’s of school success: attendance, attachment, and achievement.

Our parent organization has changed over the years. In 2005, the Colorado Foundation for Families & Children was renamed the Partnership for Families & Children to reflect more accurately our mission and scope of work. In November 2016, for the first time, NCSE became its own independent entity.

Throughout, our vision and services have remained constant. We provide training and technical assistance, research, and evaluation to school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, community collaborations, as well as state and federal agencies. We pride ourselves on our dedication and our customized approach to all we do.

Our Clients

American Bar Association, Commission on At Risk Youth

America’s Promise Alliance

Aurora Public Schools, CO

Boulder Valley School
District, CO

Carson J. Spencer Foundation

Cripple Creek School
District, CO

The Center for Children & Youth Justice, Seattle WA

Colorado Department of Education

Colorado Division
of Criminal Justice

Daniels Fund

Denver Public Schools, CO

Donnell Kay Foundation

GOAL Academy

King County Prosecutor’s Office, WA

Macon County, GA

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The Navajo Nation

The Arapahoe Nation

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General

New Mexico Public Education Department

Manassa City Schools, Virginia 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Problem-Solving Courts of Annapolis Maryland

Pueblo City Schools, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative

Tarrant County Government, TX

United Way of Northeast Florida