School Mental Health Project

Making Analyses of How Well SEA, LEA, and School Websites Present Learning Supports a Hot Topic
  

One of the primary goals of our Center at UCLA is to move student and learning supports in new directions and out of the margins with respect to school improvement policy and practice. We emphasize that this can best be achieved by developing a unified and comprehensive system of learning supports to more effectively address barriers to learning and teaching and re-engage disconnected students (e.g., a system that significantly increases equity of opportunity, reduces absenteeism, and counters student and teacher dropouts).

We think a direct way to stimulate discussion about all this is to have SEAs, LEAs, and schools take a careful look at how their websites communicate to stakeholders about the efforts to address barriers to learning and teaching and re-engage disconnected students. Given that websites are a major window into the operation of SEAs, LEAs, and schools, it seems important in this time of increased public scrutiny for everyone to review and explore how to improve student and learning supports and enhance the way the work is presented on their websites.

On most websites, our analysis show that student and learning supports are not conceived and presented as a unified and comprehensive system. Rather, the picture that emerges is that of a highly fragmented and disconnected set of programs and services.

Thus, we have suggested that everyone take a look at their websites. And, as an aid, we have developed and are widely circulating a website prototype for a learning supports system. See http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/lsweb.htm (This prototype has been added to the Center’s Rebuilding Toolkit http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/summit2002/resourceaids.htm )

We are reaching out as widely as we can to make this a hot topic.

At this time, we are asking everyone the following: