Special Resource Material Developed by the Center

Title: What is a Comprehensive Approach to Student Supports?

Description: Because of the relentless and increasing demands for school improvement, there is a continuing stream of proposals for how to move forward. Given the current difficulties confronting so many schools, more and more leaders are calling for a renewed focus on student/learning supports. This is seen in the growing number of statements related to the ESEA reauthorization calling for a comprehensive approach to supporting students (and their families).

Too often, however, what is being identified as comprehensive is not comprehensive enough, and generally the approach described is not about developing a system of supports but a proposal to enhance coordination of fragmented efforts. Many times the emphasis mainly is on health and social services, usually with the notion of connecting more community services to schools. In some instances, the focus expands to include a variety of piecemeal programs for safe and drug free schools, family assistance, after-school and summer programs, and so forth.

All these programs and services are relevant. But, most proposals to improve supports still fail to escape old ways of thinking about what schools need both in terms of content and process.

Access at:   http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/whatiscomp.pdf  48kb; 6pp