Center for Supportive Schools

Our Solutions


Our solutions enable and inspire students to become more engaged learners; develop positive social, emotional, and health behaviors; navigate pivotal transitions; and address the overwhelming stresses of youth. Teachers who work with CSS become mentors who are passionate about their students’ success and are able to deepen the rigor and impact of instruction. Schools that partner with CSS become environments that nourish meaningful connections and open student-focused dialogue among all members of the school community, including families.

CSS’s solutions take root within schools and make a lasting, sustainable impact that persists long after our involvement. We accomplish this by investing significant time into developing a strong stakeholder group within the school and then by working with school faculty and staff using an intensive train-the-trainer strategy, user-friendly curricula, and technical assistance.


Achievement Mentoring (AM)

Teachers supporting students through mentoring.


The Achievement Mentoring Program [also known as Behavioral Monitoring & Reinforcement Program (BMRP)] is a school-based prevention and intervention program for grades 4 through 11 that has been proven to reduce problem behaviors, improve academics, and reduce drug and alcohol use. Achievement Mentoring contributes to a school environment that allows students to realize that their actions can bring about desired consequences and reinforces this belief by eliciting participation from teachers, parents, and other significant adults in the student’s life.

Teachers who serve as mentors meet with students during weekly, 40-minute small group sessions (middle school participants only) and/or weekly, 20-minute individual sessions (both middle and high school participants). Other school staff (social worker, counselor, nurse, psychologist, or youth worker) may also serve as mentors. Ideally, the program intervention lasts for two years and requires caring, supportive, and consistent staff. The program has been described as a Model Program by the National Dropout Prevention Center; noted as a Blueprints Promising Program by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence; and evaluated as positive by the U.S. Department of Justice.


Campaign Connect

Safe, supportive, engaging, inspiring schools for every New Jersey student.


Campaign Connect-New Jersey (CC-NJ) is designed to support New Jersey schools in becoming safer, more supportive, engaging, and inspiring by providing them with the training, tools, and resources to facilitate a team of stakeholders (administrators, faculty, other staff, students, parents, and relevant community members/organizations) through a data-informed, relationship-driven cycle of continuous school improvement. Each school-based team utilizes protocols to surface challenging issues, articulate the root cause of those issues, and develop and implement a strategy and action plan to address those root causes. Consistent and transparent communication with the entire school community is part of this work.

Campaign Connect is grounded in research that when students are immersed in safe, supportive, engaging, and inspiring environments where they feel connected to their school community through healthy relationships with adults and peers, they come to believe that people in their schools value them and want them to succeed. This belief is an important prerequisite to greater academic achievement, reduced bullying, lower dropout rates, improved grades, fewer discipline referrals, and fewer high-risk behaviors.

Campaign Connect was launched in 2011 with a generous five-year grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation. The New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Health Initiatives, and Tyco have also provided generous support for Campaign Connect.


Community Schools

Focusing on student leadership and a strategic integration of wraparound services to effect overall school improvement and student success.


Our Community School strategy is grounded in a focus on student leadership as an underutilized and highly effective lever to eradicate disengagement and make significant school improvements. We engage all members of the school community in the relationships and meaningful dialogue necessary to improve substantially and sustainably all students’ school experiences and outcomes. CSS uses a collaborative, data-informed and relationship-driven process to partner with schools. CSS staff who work on Community School strategy receive best-in-class, ongoing training, development, and support. Our staff is why CSS has earned its outstanding reputation within the Community School space and is lead CBO partner to over 15 Community Schools, among the largest number served by any organization.


Peer Group Connection (PGC)


High school juniors and seniors supporting freshmen in their transition to high school

Peer Group Connection (PGC) for High Schools is an evidence-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transition from middle to high school. The program taps into the power of high school juniors and seniors to create a nurturing environment for incoming freshmen. Once per week, pairs of junior and senior peer leaders meet with groups of 10-14 freshmen in outreach sessions designed to strengthen relationships among students across grades. These peer leaders are simultaneously enrolled in a daily, for-credit, year-long leadership course taught by school faculty during regular school hours.

PGC is CSS’s seminal peer leadership program, and has been implemented with a 70% sustainability rate in more than 175 high schools since 1979. A recently released, four-year longitudinal, randomized-control study conducted by Rutgers University and funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services found that, among other major results, PGC improves the graduation rates of student participants in an inner city public school by ten percentage points and cuts by half the number of male students who would otherwise drop out.

Eighth grade students supporting younger students in their transition to middle school

Peer Group Connection (PGC) for Middle Schools is a research-based program that supports and eases students’ successful transition into middle school. The program taps into the power of eighth graders to create a nurturing environment for incoming middle school students. Once per week, pairs of eighth graders meet with groups of 8-10 incoming middle school students in outreach sessions designed to strengthen relationships among students across grades. These peer leaders are simultaneously enrolled in a daily, for-credit, year-long leadership course taught by school faculty during regular school hours. PGC for Middle Schools is the middle school version of CSS’s flagship program: PGC for High Schools.

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Teen Prevention Education Program (Teen PEP)

High school juniors & seniors educating younger students about healthy decision-making.


The Teen Prevention Education Program (Teen PEP) is an evidence-based, school-based, comprehensive sexual health program that utilizes peer-to-peer education to increase students’ knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors associated with healthy decision-making. High school juniors and seniors serve as peer educators who conduct a series of structured workshops for groups of younger peers, faculty, and family members designed to reduce risk factors for sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unintended pregnancy, while simultaneously enhancing protective factors against these issues. These peer educators are simultaneously enrolled in a daily, for-credit, year-long leadership course taught by school faculty during regular school hours. Developed in 1995, the program continues to be implemented through a collaboration of CSS, HiTOPS, Inc., and, when implemented in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health.


Visit the official Teen Pep website:

Customized Solutions


CSS’s solutions are created in response to the specific needs of schools. If none of our existing solutions meets your school’s needs, please contact us about partnering with you to create a solution that does. CSS has designed custom solutions for over 150 public and private schools throughout the United States.