What Are Integrated Supports?
Elev8 engages students, parents and community partners to offer carefully integrated supports in schools. Educators, out-of-school time staff, family advocates, medical professionals and community-based organizations all work together as part of the same team to support students and their families. For Elev8 schools, integration is about more than locating supports in one place. It means a shared vision, combined resources and unified processes among all Elev8 participants and stakeholders.
In our local initiatives, we’ve found that integrated supports in schools can change lives. Take, for example, the parents who bring their child to an Elev8 school-based health clinic because asthma attacks have been keeping her out of school. The medical staff work with the child to manage her asthma, and discover the family is living in substandard conditions that provoke the illness. The family is then referred to an Elev8 family resource center, which helps them get into better housing. With healthier living conditions and good medical care, the child attends school regularly and her grades improve.
These kinds of stories play out every day in Elev8 schools, and our experience is backed by research about the potential benefits of integration:
Each Elev8 initiative has a team that responds to the challenges families and schools face in their particular context. In this way, schools become places that serve students, their families and the larger community, and help ensure that young people succeed in school and in life.
1 Grossman, J.B. 2003. Student Outcomes and After-School Program Participation.Paper presented at the 2003 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Tampa, FL.
2 Waanders, C., J.L. Mendez and J.T. Downer. 2007. "Parent Characteristics, Economic Stress and Neighborhood Context as Predictors of Parent Involvement in Preschool Children's Education." Journal of School Psychology. 45: 619-636.
3 Dynarski et al. 2003. When Schools Stay Open Late: The National Evaluation of the 21st-Century Community Learning Centers Program. First year findings. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.
4 Buttery and Anderson. 1997. Community, School and Parent Dynamics: A Synthesis of Literature and Activities. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Teacher Educators, Washington DC.