Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Christensen Institute highlights models that schools are using to help their students excel at academics by connecting them with services to support other areas of their lives.
• How can philanthropy support schools that want to care for their students holistically? Which model is the most effective for improving student wellbeing and outcomes?
The different components that make up a student’s life chances and academic success—like healthcare, family support services, academics, and diverse networks into the knowledge economy—currently fit into stubborn silos. Short of radically restructuring youth-facing funding streams or the school system writ large, how might schools innovate in ways that overcome the modular system? One answer: hire someone who can traverse the boundaries that such siloed systems leave in their wake.
Here are four examples of school systems doing just that, with new hires poised to knit together disparate student services, support, and community-based opportunities.
School Site Coordinator at City Connects
School site coordinators (SSC’s) are typically master’s level school counselors or social workers that function like a staff member at schools. At the beginning of the school year, teachers meet with these coordinators to discuss the individual developmental strengths and weaknesses of each and every student in the class across several domains: students’ academic, social-emotional, health, and family circumstances. Based on these individual assessments, coordinators connect students’ to myriad services, supports, and opportunities in their communities.
Advocate counselors at Bronx Arena
At Bronx Arena, advocate counselors on their staff work alongside generalist teachers to support students in everything from academic goal setting to emotional health. As one administrator put it, the job is a jack-of-all-trades role “to stabilize a student not just in school, but in life.”
Read the full article about connecting students with services by Julia Freeland Fisher at Christensen Institute.
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