MentorWorks In-School Mentoring

Fairfax County, VA

Program Summary

MentorWorks Program Redesign and Implementation

  • Goal: To redesign the existing MentorWorks in-school tutoring program within Fairfax County Public Schools in order to scale the program to bring on more schools, mentors, and mentees. Concurrently, this strategy will also develop and implement an evidence-based, academic and experientially-rooted model with a theory of change and a set of measurable data whereby we can determine the success of the program
  • Intent and Activity: This 4-year program consists of funding a Penn State University faculty member to work with the MentorWorks program to build a logic and theory of change model; to identify the key data sets needed to best track student and mentor behaviors, performance, and growth; to build a database and collection system to acquire, monitor, and evaluate the program data; and to include robust experiential activity learning opportunities for the mentor/mentee matches. Over time, the program will collect data, assess performance, and then adjust and modify the programming to ensure high quality and optimum outcomes
  • Will close out at the end of School Year 2024-2025

MentorWorks Belonging Project

  • Overview: The Belonging Project is part of the FCPS MentorWorks program and is inclusive of select schools with established mentoring programs in Opportunity Neighborhoods.
  • Goal: The goal of this pilot program is to enhance established MentorWorks programs with the long-term goal of reducing chronic absence. Program enhancements will foster growth for mentees and their families in three domains:
    • Family, community, and school engagement
    • Cultural awareness and understanding through activities and events targeting experiential learning
    • College/Career exploration through targeted activities and events
  • Framework: The Belonging Enrichment Program will include a “continuation of care” component to ensure that mentees are supported as they age up to middle or high school. All activities and events will articulate vertically in a developmentally appropriate manner to ensure that mentees and their families will deepen their connections to their school, the world around them and the world of work as they age up.
  • Will be a one-year pilot that will occur during School Year 2024-2025
John & Janice Wyatt Foundation
John & Janice Wyatt Foundation
MW pic

I am a new teacher so this was my first school-wide social event. I was amazed by the many hands that made this event so enjoyable. I was able to meet some students that I don’t teach, and some colleagues that I have only previously said hello to in the hallway. I had some wonderful conversations today and felt so lucky to be a part of the school family." - Fairfax County Public School teacher, October 2021

Measures of Performance

For more information, please see Data Analysis section at the bottom of the page

Data Analysis MentorWorks Strategic Redesign and Implementation

1. Goal: To redesign the existing MentorWorks in-school tutoring program within Fairfax County Public Schools in order to scale the program to bring on more schools, mentors, and mentees. Concurrently, this strategy will also develop and implement an evidence-based, academic and experientially-rooted model with a theory of change and a set of measurable data whereby we can determine the success of the program.

2. Intent and Activity: This 4-year program consists of funding a Penn State University faculty member to work with the MentorWorks program to build a logic and theory of change model; to identify the key data sets needed to best track student and mentor behaviors, performance, and growth; to build a database and collection system to acquire, monitor, and evaluate the program data; and to include robust experiential activity learning opportunities for the mentor/mentee matches. Over time, the program will collect data, assess performance, and then adjust and modify the programming to ensure high quality and optimum outcomes.

  1. Our sustainability goal is this data will demonstrate the effectiveness of this new model and the data collection such that the program continues to evolve and mature over time to best ensure student success. At the end of this grant cycle (end of School Year 2024-2025), the program will be funded and managed fully by FCPS.
  2. Results to date:
  • Because of COVID-19, this program was delayed in School Years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Thus, we lost almost two full years due to school closures and loss of in-person mentoring and FCPS then needed to essentially rebuild the mentoring program during the latter half of 2021-2022.
  • By 2023, the MentorWorks/Penn State team completed the framework for the database and began acquiring mentor/mentee data in earnest. Baseline data from 2021 and 2022 is available in some cases; however, data fidelity is more limited in these previous years. Strong match data is more guaranteed in School Year 2022-2023 forward.
  • From School Year 2022-2023, we can now begin to observe output and outcome measures within the program, with measurements occurring at the end of each school year (spring data, labeled as Quarter 2):
  • Output Measurements (how much we are doing):
    • We do see some variability in the number of Staff Mentors matched with a student (1,123 as a baseline, with an increase to 2,377 at the end of SY 21-22, then a dip in SY 22-23 to 1,486). As the program is building the correct processes now, our stretch/scale goals are limited at this point, but do hope to see an increase at the end of SY23-24. We assigned a “yellow” health score.
    • We do see a strong increase in the number of Community Mentors matched with a student, reaching a high of 414 in SY 22-23. This increase is a result of the success of bringing outside community mentors back into the school buildings following COVID. We assigned a “green” health score.
    • Similarly, we see positive growth in the number of FCPS schools and centers adopting and engaging the MentorWorks program within their buildings, with a high of 188 using the program (out of a total of 214 in the district) in SY 22-23. We assigned a “green” health score.
    • Mentee engagement (number of individual students participating in the program) grew significantly to 3,745 students in SY 22-23, earning a “green” health score; and the number of group mentors (2 or more students working with a single mentor) also grew to 278 at the end of SY 22-23, earning a “green” score. Group mentoring allows for more students to be reached at scale, but may, at times, reduce some of the effectiveness of the interventions.
    • We are still acquiring data on the Mentee experiential opportunities and will provide that at the next Data Analysis session to be completed at the end of SY 23-24.
  • Outcome Measurements:
    • As part of the new program design, we are in the process of tracking the new Outcome Measures, which will reflect “how” the program is working to ultimately improve student achievement.
    • These Measures will include, at a minimum, improving the Match Quality of the mentor/mentee relationships and improving student outcomes. 
    • All Outcome Measurements will be measured using an evidence-based numerical scale to determine how effective the programming is related to student improvement.
    • We expect to have these data sets complete by end of SY 23-24, to be further monitored and evaluated through SY 24-25.

MentorWorks Belonging Project

1. Overview: The Belonging Project is part of the FCPS MentorWorks program and is inclusive of select schools with established mentoring programs in Opportunity Neighborhoods.

2. Goal: The goal of this pilot program is to enhance established MentorWorks programs with the long-term goal of reducing chronic absence. Program enhancements will foster growth for mentees and their families in three domains:

  1. Family, community, and school engagement
  2. Cultural awareness and understanding through activities and events targeting experiential learning
  3. College/Career exploration through targeted activities and events

3. Framework: The Belonging Enrichment Program will include a “continuation of care” component to ensure that mentees are supported as they age up to middle or high school.  All activities and events will articulate vertically in a developmentally appropriate manner to ensure that mentees and their families will deepen their connections to their school, the world around them and the world of work as they age up. 

4. Measures of Performance: This project will run for one year as a pilot, using School Year 2024-2025. Data will be collected, aggregated, and evaluated to determine if the Belonging Enrichment Project had any correlational effect on the reduction of the absence rate in targeted students and/or improvement in academic performance of targeted students. Measures of performance will take place during School Year 2024-2025 using the following guidelines:

  1. Data set will only include students from elementary schools.
  2. 75% or more of students in the data set must be attending Title I schools.
  3. 75% or more of students in the data set must be identified as “trending” toward chronic absence (7-9% absence rate) and/or chronically absent ≥(10% absence rate).
  4. Baseline formative data points will be collected fall 2024.
  5. EOY summative data points will be collected in June 2025.
  6. Data points will include absence rate stated as a percentage and an average of core academic scores as reported in elementary report cards.