Overview of Category: Student Support
Student support programs include tutoring, decision-making guidance and assistance to students with personal problems that hinder success in school.
Some schools offer tutoring and homework clubs before school, after school or during lunch. Many schools target specific groups of students who are at risk of falling behind or dropping out.
The non-academic support available to students varies by school. At minimum, schools are required to convene a Student Study Team if a child is having serious difficulty in school, academically or socially, and needs special attention or an alternative approach to learning. This team consists of all the adults who work regularly with the child and know her well: parents, teachers, an administrator and any other relevant school staff. The team, with the student, devises a plan to address any obstacles to learning and to foster greater academic success.
In the area of health care, funding for school nurses has decreased over time to the point where nurses are assigned to work in several schools rather than one. Some schools have found alternative ways to provide health education and services to students, usually through collaborations with local agencies and sometimes with the help of grants or programs, including Healthy Start.
Conflict resolution programs, including peer-mediation programs, have been popular over the last several years. Many schools also provide counseling for students who are facing personal struggles.
Child advocates often push for more support services to address the complex needs of students; some school experts, however, view the business of school as strictly teaching and learning and would like to see less emphasis on non-academic services in schools.
Safety Nets for Struggling Students