Wraparound Student Supports
In order to help all students succeed, our nation must provide supports and opportunities that extend beyond the classroom to address the many and varied needs students bring with them to school. Because of their centralized location in the community, schools are an ideal place to house and coordinate access to a host of wraparound supports for students and their families, including health services, socio-emotional supports, tutoring, afterschool programs, pre-kindergarten, job training, English classes and more
The Latest on Wraparound Student Supports
Despite the research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, this report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse. Thousands of students from low-income families stand to lose these vital opportunities that represent a key resource in a support-based education reform model.
This fantasic video from OTL ally Alliance for Quality Education asks the very simple question: Will you fund our schools?
Racial Equity Impact Assessments (REIAs) are a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. REIAs are a vital tool for preventing institutional racism and for identifying new options to remedy long-standing inequities. Communities across the country from Seattle to St. Paul to Connecticut have begun to use REIAs in their policymaking. Learn how you can implement them in your own community with this helpful toolkit from the Applied Research Center, an OTL ally!
Meridian, MS, has been in the news often in the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."
Who better to talk about the challenges and opportunities young women of color face in education than the young women themselves? As part of an ongoing project, the Wellesley Centers for Women partnered with Boston-based Teen Voices to produce a short film featuring teens "as the experts and agents of their own learning experiences, offering examples of effective strategies and solutions for closing the opportunity gap." The goal of the project is to promote public discourse about barriers to educational equity for girls of color and push for change in education policy and practice.
A new report from Ohio Communities United (OCU) is a perfect snapshot of what effective parent and community engagement looks like in public education reform. The report, "Speaking Out of School," came about following a series of "listening circles" held in Cleveland, which gathered input from parents and community members about the policies and practices they would like to see implemented in their schools and in which they want to be involved. Highlighted throughout the report are the powerful, personal stories of individual parents as well as features on programs across the country that have successfully engaged parents and community members to create stronger public schools.
This must-watch video is a touching short film that elevates the voices of those at the center of America's education crisis – namely, the parents, teachers and students who must bear the brunt of today's standards-based reform agenda (which includes standardize testing, school closures, merit pay, competitive grants, inequitable funding, etc.) without the supports they need meet those standards or provide every student with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.