4 ways community schools can support effective teaching
Wraparound services can be beneficial to educators
The job of a teacher these days seems to stretch beyond the walls of a classroom, especially in primary and secondary schools in high-poverty communities.
We hear stories of teachers purchasing food for hungry students, going door to door in neighborhoods to boost parent involvement in school, and referring students and families to health services. Teachers in these communities know how important these types of nonclassroom activities are to improving the educational performance of their students. So, too, do education experts and policymakers, who call for including these "wraparound services" in high-poverty schools.
While there is research on the potential for wraparound services, including health care services, family involvement programs, and expanded food assistance programs to eliminate barriers to student learning, there is little known about the possible connection between wraparound services and teacher efficacy. This report examines specific examples of schools where wraparound services are benefiting teachers in addition to students.
This paper draws on phone interviews conducted with teachers, principals, or site coordinators at 14 schools across the country that integrate wraparound services with a strong academic focus to serve large percentages of low-income students. These types of schools are known as "community schools" among education professionals. Four main trends emerged from these conversations:
These four findings lead us to recommend several steps that schools, districts, and states can take to maximize the benefits of wraparound services for teachers. Specifically:
The report explore the ways in which wraparound services help teachers in high-poverty schools focus on student achievement by addressing the nonacademic needs of students. We conclude with our detailed recommendations— steps that we believe would help teachers and students alike perform to the best of their ability.
This article was published by the Center for American Progress.