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Student Support Fall Conference : Coordinating & Collaborating for Student Success.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Support Fall Conference : Coordinating & Collaborating for Student Success."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Support Fall Conference : Coordinating & Collaborating for Student Success

2 Goal & Purpose Goal: To enhance district and community partnerships that support the whole child, and all children in education. Purpose: To acknowledge the hard work of those in the audience who on a daily basis work to make things better for students in (or disenfranchised from) our schools. It is a difficult job with daunting responsibility and we are thankful.

3 Objectives Raise awareness of multiple state/federally funded programs that can work in collaboration to support students in your local communities. Help participants connect with others to strengthen or develop local partnerships. Further/foster partnerships that help decrease barriers to learning, and that help to build comprehensive models that meet students’ academic and social needs. Generate ideas to help students in your program, support students in other programs, and reach young people not currently served by programs.

4 Who are We?

5 Student Support Programs Academic Support (AS): Enhances academic support services needed to meet the competency determination for students in the Classes of 2003-2011 who have performed in the warning/failing category on their most recent ELA &/or math MCAS test/retest(s). Alternative Education (AltEd): An instructional approach under the control of a school committee that is offered to "at- risk" students in a nontraditional setting. Community Service Learning (CSL): A teaching & learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, & strengthen communities.

6 Student Support Programs Innovative Programs (Title V): A flexible funding source that can be used to meet local educational needs that include, but are not limited to, supporting programs serving students who are at-risk academically, socially, economically, and physically. McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance: Facilitates the enrollment, attendance, supplement enrichment activities, support professional development & support the well being of homeless children & youth in school.

7 Student Support Programs Safe & Supportive Schools (Trauma-Sensitive): Assists school districts with the development & establishment of comprehensive programs to promote school safety & help prevent violence in schools; &/or in-school programs & services to address the educational & psycho-social needs of students whose behavior interferes with learning. 21 st Century Community Learning Centers (21 st CCLC): Establishes/expands programs that operate during out-of-school hours & provide students with academic enrichment opportunities along with other activities designed to complement the students' regular academic program.

8 Center for Student Support, Career, & Education Services MISSION: To help schools provide all children with the knowledge, skills and values needed to graduate from high school college-ready and well prepared for a career and citizenship. The awareness of the relationship between cognitive development and the physical, emotional and social well being is fundamental to a quality educational environment. This Center’s Units aim to assist schools, students, parents, the business sector and communities in identifying, and promoting strategies to address the barriers to teaching and learning that many children and youth face today.

9 Other SSCES Programs and Activities Connecting Activities –provides quality work-based learning experiences for high school students by providing them with structured internships connected to the classroom teaching and learning. Child Nutrition Programs –provides schools and community agencies with funds and other resources to support the availability of nutritious meals and foods for children, elderly at-risk populations and families. CDC Comprehensive School Health Education and Infrastructure –overall goal of the grant is to improve the health and well being of K-12 students in Massachusetts, therefore improving academic performance. Divided into two sections, the grant allows the Massachusetts Department of Education (MDOE) and the Massachusetts Department of Health (MDPH) to work together in providing communities with the services they need to their student healthy.

10 Other SSCES Programs and Activities Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC ) –provides federal grants to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools, prevent illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and involve parents and communities in school-based initiatives. This program should be coordinated with related federal, state, and community efforts to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement. Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students –is a suicide and violence prevention program that provides training and technical support to schools/districts on GLBT issues and the implementation of the Board of Education's Recommendations on the Support of Gay and Lesbian Students (1993)

11 Why Are We Here?

12 Why is it that schools can house the most Advanced technology, employ award-winning teachers, adopt research based curriculum and… STUDENTS WILL STILL NOT SUCCEED!

13 Students can’t learn unless they’re healthy… …physically, emotionally, and socially.

14 Supporting the “Whole” Child We talk about the whole child, yet many of the children in your programs and those funded through our center often include children whose circumstances are fractured. As you work with them daily, you know as well as we that these include youth who are “at risk” academically, socially, and economically (some of whom are homeless and/or trauma sensitive). Where are they? In traditional and nontraditional settings in K-12 schools, as well as in jobs, community college transition programs, and elsewhere.

15 A teen runs away from home (and becomes homeless) due to domestic violence but wants to continue their education but lives twenty miles away from the school with no transportation; Parent calls because their child is being bullied and refuses to go to school; Youth focus group report living with nightly gunfire; Parent calls to request school choice under the NCLB Unsafe Schools Option; A group of middle school students disrupt their building every morning upon arrival to school until principal realizes that they arrive after breakfast is served; principal changes breakfast schedule and disruptions stop; Youth focus groups discuss how schools and teachers have low expectation for some students.

16 There are six, interdependent health-related conditions and risk behaviors that act as Barriers to Teaching and Learning… Stress & Mental Health Interpersonal Violence Substance Use & Abuse Malnutrition Sedentary Lifestyle Sexual Behavior

17 Stress & Mental Health All children and adolescents experience stress. “Good” stress, called eustress, can motivate a student or improve academic performance. High numbers of stressful life events have been correlated with lower grade point averages and reductions in graduation rates.

18 Stress & Mental Health Unresolved stress can lead to depression or anxiety. Depression predisposes students to experiencing the other barriers to learning. Depression and other forms of mental illness are correlated with poor academic performance.

19 Substance Use & Abuse Substance involved students are more likely to be: Retained referred for expensive special education services placed in classes for low ability levels. Students who use substances are more likely to be: Disruptive Suspended Referred to a psychologist Expelled from school. Substance using students score lower on measures of psychological adjustment have less social competence have low motivation levels possess negative academic identities.



22 Interpersonal Violence Victims of interpersonal violence are more likely to be absent, cut classes, or be tardy. Victimized students may engage in risk behavior associated with barriers to learning to cope with the stress of exposure to violence. Victims of violence are more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

23 Interpersonal Violence Perpetrators of violence are more likely to display impulsive, unconventional, or rebellious behavior. It is this behavior that distracts student’s attention away from the teacher and the lesson. Disruptive, hostile classroom climates have been associated with reductions academic performance.

24 KEY FINDINGS FROM THE 2005 MYRBS  Certain groups of students reported higher rates than their peers of violence-related behaviors.  male students,  students of Other or Multiple Ethnicity,  sexual minority students,  students in urban districts and  students in younger grades.  Significant associations between violence-related behaviors and experiences and academic achievement.  Students who either exhibited violent behaviors or had experienced violence were less likely to succeed academically.


26 Violence-Related Behaviors Among Mass. High School Students (Percent Per Year)

27 2005/06 SSDR Data

28 Malnutrition Malnourished children have lower IQ scores, poor cognitive function, low school achievement and more behavioral problems than well-nourished children Well-nourished children consistently outperform malnourished children on standardized tests. Obesity, the most common form of malnourishment is correlated with poor academic performance.

29 Sedentary Lifestyle Children don’t engage in active play as they did in the past. Obesity rates in children and adolescents have grown exponentially over the past 20 years. Time away from academics for physical education does not decrease standardized test scores, in fact, it improves them.

30 Sedentary Lifestyle Regular physical activity improves alertness, enhances motivation, extends attention span, and increases speed of recall.

31 Sexual Activity Teenage pregnancy and parenting teens have increased risk for poor academic achievement, lower bonding to school, lower grade point averages, and higher rates of absenteeism. Growing numbers of researchers are finding that sexual harassment, dating violence, and sexual abuse also influences academic performance and learning. The earlier a girl enters puberty, the more likely she is for experiencing all of the other barriers to learning.

32 These Barriers to Learning can have an enormous impact on a student’s ability to learn and his or her academic performance. Why??

33 The brain’s ability to learn is compromised.

34 Time on learning is diminished.

35 The climate of the school is destabilized.

36 Fortunately, research is showing that the barriers to learning can be significantly reduced through integrated curriculum and services.

37 So, if integrated curriculum and services have been shown in decades of research to reduce barriers to learning… Why don’t school’s integrate curriculum and services??

38 Many Education Reform efforts are too narrow in scope. Current education reform efforts assume the problem lies solely with the schools. And, if we fix the schools, kids will learn. Education Reform mandates don’t hold the student accountable for his or her learning

39 It’s not the school’s responsibility to fix society’s problems. Our country’s founding fathers developed the public school system to provide universal basic literacy, preserve health and well- being, and to develop the social and ethical dispositions necessary for them to contribute to our democratic society.

40 It will cost too much. Existing personnel and resources in schools can be braided and integrated into system to improve academic performance and reduce barriers to learning.

41 Addressing Barriers to Student Learning* What’s the Current State of Affairs? * The Addressing Barriers to Student Learning slides were reproduced adapted with the permission of Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, Co-directors of the School for Mental Health and its Center for Mental Health in School. Additional information and resources from the Center can be downloaded at:

42 Looking first at the Movement for School Improvement: What’s Missing? Instructional Component ( to directly facilitate learning) What’s Missing? Management Component (for governance and resource management) What’s missing becomes evident when we ask: How does school improvement planning address barriers to learning?

43 Talk about fragmented!!! Pupil Services Special Ed. Physical Education After-School Programs Psychological Testing Health Education HIV/Aids Prevention Health Services Nutrition Education School Lunch Program Drug Prevention Drug Services Counseling Smoking Cessation For Staff Codes of Discipline Pregnancy Prevention Social Services Child Protective Services HIV/AIDS Services Community-Based Organizations Mental Health Services Juvenile Court Services Violence & Crime Prevention School Which of these addresses barriers to student learning? Clinic Adapted from: Health is Academic: A guide to Coordinated School Health Programs (1998). Edited by E. Marx & S.F. Wooley with D. Northrop. New York: Teachers College Press.

44 Planning and implementation of a school’s approach to addressing barriers to learning and teaching usually are conducted on an ad hoc basis. Support staff tend to function in relative isolation of each other and other stakeholders, with a great deal of the work oriented to discrete problems and with an over reliance on specialized services for individuals and small groups. In some schools, the deficiencies of current policies give rise to such aberrant practices as assigning a student identified as at risk for grade retention, dropout, and substance abuse to three counseling programs operating independently of each other.

45 So, what’s the answer? How can we address both academic performance AND the barriers to teaching and learning? Through a Learning Support Services Model.

46 Classroom Systems District & Community Systems of Care School-Based Systems of Support

47 Level 1: Classroom Systems Initiatives at this level are relatively low cost and are delivered to the entire school population. Purposes of interventions at this level include: Creating a sense of connectedness to school and its conventions. Teaching, modeling, and reinforcing pro-social behavior. Providing psychological and physical first aid to students with low intensity problems or day-to-day hassles. Identifying “at risk” students and referring them to Level 2 Systems. Communicating clear and consistent expectations for learning and behavior. Collecting, processing, and analyzing data concerning the entire population to inform, process, and impact evaluation.

48 Level 2: School-based Systems of Support Initiatives at this level are of moderate cost and are delivered to students, individually or in small groups. Purposes of initiatives at this level include: Promoting healthy development and prevention of problems to targeted audiences. Ensuring all students have at least one adult which they have a close, caring relationship. Responding immediately to crises, major life transitions, or enduring problems in a student’s life. Facilitating peer-to-peer programs and community service programs. Promoting healthy development and prevention of problems to targeted audiences. Accessing parent and community resources to assist in the delivery of services on-site. Collecting, processing, and analyzing data regarding cohorts of students to inform process, outcome, and impact evaluation.

49 Level 3: District & Community Systems of Care Initiatives at this level high cost per individual and are delivered only to students with diagnosed learning disabilities, chronic health related problems or severe involvement with one or more of the barriers to learning. Purposes of initiatives at this level include: Treating or rehabilitating chronic problems. Enabling students to function in the regular school environment. Providing support to help students succeed in the least restrictive environment possible.

50 Adapted From: J. Kretzmann & J. McKnight (1993). Building Communities From the Inside Out: A Path Toward Findings and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets. Chicago: ACTA Publications

51 Does This Really Work??? In an experimental study of 259 high-risk youth in Grades 9-12 attending a school in the Pacific Northwest, participants in programs associated with a Learning Support Services model showed increased grade point averages (GPAs) across all academic classes while the GPAs of control group students stayed the same. (Eggert, Thompson, Herting) A middle school in Arizona experienced significant gains in academic achievement, mental health, and safety after utilizing a resiliency based approach to address both academic and mental health concerns in their school. (Oddone) In a longitudinal study of children receiving a substance use intervention curriculum, researchers found that five years after having the program, participants had higher overall academic achievement scores on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills than their national peers. (Elias, Gara, Schuyler, Branden-Miller, Sayette)

52 Closing Thoughts We honor your work. We ask you to share your ideas and questions with others. We hope today is inspiring and useful.

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