About New Directions for Student and Learning Supports

The challenge is to move forward in developing a unified and comprehensive system of student and learning supports as a primary and essential component of school improvement for addressing barriers to learning and teaching and re-engaging disconnected students.

The emphasis is on

Fortunately, enough work has been done in recent years to provide specific prototypes and guidance for districts and schools. For example, our Center's research and development clarifies that an enabling/learning supports component encompasses a full continuum of interventions and covers a well-defined and delimited set of classroom and schoolwide supports. All this is operationalized as a system.

Developing the system entails

Starting points include ensuring the work is fully integrated into school improvement policy and practice, reworking operational infrastructure, setting priorities for system development, and (re)deploying whatever resources are available in keeping with priorities. More specifically, the transformation: As Congress considers reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it is time and it is essential to include a unifying and comprehensive focus on addressing barriers to learning and re-engaging disconnected students.

At the state and regional levels, it is time and it is essential for education agencies to reorganize student and learning supports into a cohesive unit and provide guidance and capacity building support for districts to build a comprehensive, multifaceted, and integrated system of learning supports.

At the district and school level, it is time and it is essential to go beyond thinking in terms of providing traditional services, linking with and collocating agency resources, and enhancing coordination. These all have a place, but they do not address how to unify and reconceive ways to better meet the needs of the many, rather than just providing traditional services to a relatively few students.

It is time and it is essential to fundamentally rethink student and learning supports.

The Center at UCLA works with states and districts across the country to mentor and coach strategic efforts to plan, implement, and sustain the prototype frameworks developed by the Center. This mentoring and coaching includes the opportunity for regular exchanges and technical assistance over several years. The Center also continuously updates online resource aids to support ongoing work. No fees are attached to the using the Center since most of its coaching and technical assistance can be done via email and phone conferencing and all its resources are available for free access online.