Support All Students to Close the Achievement Gap

Over on ASCD‘s “The Whole Child” blog, City Connects Executive Director Mary Walsh has a guest blog post about how schools can counter the impact of poverty on students. In “Support All Students to Close the Achievement Gap,” she writes:

How can schools, with their limited resources, address these barriers to learning? Traditionally, the approach has been through “student support,” a catch-all phrase whose definition varies from school to school and district to district. Typically, it encompasses the role of counselors. Often, only the most vulnerable and at-risk students receive the lion’s share of the attention. Student support can be approached differently, in a way that dramatically enhances its effectiveness. It works best when delivered in a comprehensive, systematic approach to each and every student in a school.

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What’s Next for Coordinated School Health?

There is a must-read post on ASCD‘s Whole Child Blog today, “What’s Next for Coordinated School Health? Moving from Rhetoric to Sustainable Action.” Based on an Oct. 16 session from the American School Health Association’s annual conference, the post summarizes how health and wellness are inextricably linked to students’ academic achievement. Here’s an excerpt:

So what has held educators back from wholeheartedly embracing health and well-being across their schools and systems? The answer is somewhat twofold—on the one hand there are schools that hold a belief that they are there only to educate the child academically—however the overwhelming evidence that shows that a students’ physical, mental, social, and emotional health plays a significant role in determining what students can learn cognitively dispels this notion. On the other hand there are schools that appreciate the effects of student health on student growth and learning—so why haven’t these schools done a more comprehensive job in aligning health and education? Ultimately it may be the existence of CSH itself. The fact that there has been a section of the system that has been designed to cater to the health needs of students has in fact allowed education to ignore or push health aside. It has perpetuated the siloing of health and education.

We are excited that Dr. Susan Wooley, president of the American School Health Association, will be speaking about the critical role of health and wellness in optimized student support at our upcoming conference on Nov. 5.

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