Building Systems of Integrated Student Support
Learning depends on the social, emotional, physical, and mental health of students. The systems that come together to support young people’s learning and development include schools, community organizations, health care providers, businesses, out-of-school service providers, and municipal and state agencies. But these systems are at times siloed in how they serve youth. Integrated student support offers a compelling solution to addressing the strengths and needs of the whole child.
Integrated student support is a strategy for promoting students’ academic success by securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement in order to promote improved outcomes for students, families, and communities. Well implemented integrated student support has the power to boost academic and life outcomes by efficiently directing existing services and resources towards the well-being of students.
Building Systems of Integrated Student Support, presented by the Boston College Center for Optimized Student Support and the Center for Promise, distills insights from the sciences and lessons learned from practitioners. This brief provides decision-makers at the state and local levels with policy recommendations and guidance to advance effective systems of integrated student support that transform disjointed and siloed resources for children, youth, and families into a coherent and potent system of opportunity. The brief also spotlights examples of how ISS are being supported by policy makers and leaders at the state and local levels.
Recommendations for Local Leaders
- Adopt a whole community, whole child approach including articulating a vision, convening stakeholders, and developing a close working relationship between municipal and state leaders.
- Create systems for success by supporting school-based coordinators and building a low-cost municipal-wide infrastructure to facilitate resource coordination.
- Utilize data by creating an individualized plan for every child and family; and use data generated by these plans to respond to demand and evaluate impacts.
Recommendations for State Leaders
- Advance integrated student support policy at the state-level; efforts are already underway in several states.
- Support the adoption of evidence-based models for implementing systems of inte-grated student support through state budgets and plans.
- Develop tools to support improved practice at scale by establishing a research-based protocol or frame¬work; support local implementation with professional development, coaching, and technical assistance; providing financial resources for local integration of student supports; and supporting development of technological infrastructure.
- Reduce barriers to resource integration including addressing bureaucratic complexity.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
The 5 Promises
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below: