Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting: Making the grade, integrated student support

Reading, writing and arithmetic. Strong skills in the three R's used to be one way parents and educators predicted a student's school potential. 

Kids not hitting the mark might have been scheduled for extra academic help, but social psychologist Kristin Moore and child trends researchers say there might be a better way. 

"I wanted to look at a model, which is called integrated student supports, which goes beyond kind of the traditional notion that you can tutor kids into school success," said Kristin Moore, Ph.D. Senior Scholar Child Trends. 

Instead, researchers are examining school programs that assess students' needs, then connect them and their families with services like medical care or housing or mental health counseling. 

"They may need emotional support. They may need to improve their behavior. And all of those things can undermine their educational success," Moore said. 

Social scientists reviewed 19 I-S-S (Integrated Student Support) studies and found evidence that the I-S-S model may help increase high school graduation rates and may offer a strong return on investment to society.

For every dollar invested in I-S-S, a return of at least $3 and up to $14 can be expected -- with students having less grade repetition and fewer problem behaviors. 

Kristin Moore says over the past few years, I-S-S programs have been starting in every region of the country. 

"They have different names. Sometimes they have no names at all, just a principal that understands a kid can't do well in school unless their other needs are met," she said. 

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