NDTAC Brief- Promising Uses of At-Risk Funding: Focus on Engagement, Relevance, and Meaning

When school is engaging, relevant, and meaningful, students returning from correctional facilities and those at risk of dropping out are more likely to achieve educational success. This brief is intended to assist district leaders and school administrators-both at the district and school level- who are seeking to implement strategies designed to help students find meaning and build a lasting connection to their education. NDTAC is focused and committed to engagement in the classroom so every student can find educational success and acceptance.
This brief highlights three key approaches to making schools engaging, relevant, and meaningful:

  1. incorporating creative and performing arts
  2. emphasizing culturally responsive materials, instruction, and experiences
  3. acknowledging real-world problems and empowering students to solve them

Additionally, this brief highlights six foundational strategies for educators implementing the above three approaches. These approaches are not exhaustive but offer clear, widely supported examples of practices that are proven to work. These strategies can be implemented using the at-risk funding from Title I, Part D, Subpart 2.



Non-Secure Settings
Researchers and Policymakers
Secure Long Term Settings
Secure Short Term Settings
Youth, Families, Communities, or Advocates

Resource Type

Features from the Field
Reference & Implementation Guides
Reports & Briefs
Tips, Tools & Toolkits


Family and Community Engagement
Exit & Reentry
Safe & Supportive Learning Environments
Dropout & Delinquency Prevention
Student Support Services
Teaching & Learning in the Content Areas
Teaching with Technology

Authored on

September 29, 2021