The School Engagement Improvement Project (SEIP), a four-school pilot project, was formulated as a Pilot-Collaborative focused on reducing truancy, improving attendance, and improving schools' ability to engage students. Sponsored by the Santa Clara County Juvenile Justice Systems Collaborative and Department of Mental Health, this Pilot-Collaborative supported the development of innovative and targeted solutions to improve school attendance and reduce truancy on an individual school and classroom basis, as well as, strengthen student and family engagement at the middle school level. A second and equally important goal of the Pilot-Collaborative was to improve schools' capacity to effectively achieve desired improvements in the future, related to student engagement or otherwise. A final goal of the collaborative was to test and refine an efficient and effective methodology applicable on a large scale and that would create a pathway for breakthrough change in middle schools in Santa Clara County.
In June 2010 five schools were selected to participate in the SEIP pilot program for the 2010-2011 school year. They were as follows:
- Allen at Steinbeck K-8 School - San Jose Unified School District
- Herbert Hoover Middle School - San Jose Unified School District
- Clyde Fisher Middle School - Alum Rock School District
- Bridges-Academy (formerly J.W. Fair Middle School) - Franklin McKinley School District
- John Muir Middle School - San Jose Unified School District (was unable to participate in pilot program)
The remaining four schools each received $62,500 to support their involvement in the pilot, particularly to enable hands-on teacher participation. The SEIP school teams attended four collaborative learning sessions with experts on school engagement and the Model for Change.