Academic achievement is influenced by a range of societal and structural factors that exist beyond the walls of a traditional school. Most public schools would benefit from a planning agenda that coordinates the inner happenings of the school with the out-of-school conditions for student success.

In addition to academics, schools should view summer-readying activities as a time to take on cross-sector planning and resourcing that aims to reduce some of the structural barriers many students encounter.

Coordinating conversations can take place with local nonprofits that are positioned to offer expanded learning opportunities that reinforce a school’s curriculum and align with education standards. School officials can also work with pediatric healthcare and social service providers in their communities to integrate health supports into school services.

Examples include developing partnerships with early care and education providers to support a seamless transition from preschool to the K-12 system, coordinating increased access to behavioral health counseling that addresses both mental health and substance use disorders, and working with community health homes to determine how efforts between the health and education systems can complement one another along the school readiness dimensions of social and emotional wellbeing, cognitive development, physical health, and motor skills development.

Read the full article about going beyond academic support for students by Lauren A. Smith and Ursula Wright at FSG.