Systemic Student Support (S3)
For many students—especially those facing challenges with academic or social-emotional learning, behavioral or physical health, or income insecurity—classroom instruction is not enough to ensure success in school. To create schools that fully support students, we need to find ways to break down barriers to learning by building a system to address these barriers with school- and community-based resources. Known as a system of integrated student support (ISS), these resources range from tutoring and mentoring, enrichment opportunities, and extracurricular activities, to linking students and families to a broader set of services, such as physical and mental health care, family counseling, food banks, or employment assistance.
The Department is offering an opportunity for district and school practitioners to deepen their understanding of and refine their approach to current student support processes, as well as to design, pilot, and implement systems of integrated student support: the Systemic Student Support Academy (S3 Academy or S3A). The S3 Academy will be structured around a series of in-person workshops and supplemental webinars facilitated by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy (the Rennie Center) and Boston College Lynch School of Education's Center for Optimized Student Support (COSS). S3A participants will learn to connect school- and district-based approaches to promoting students' academic achievement and wellness by developing and coordinating supports that build upon students' strengths and address barriers to learning. By coming together as a community, participants will have a chance to work on shared challenges, identify effective resources, and engage in collaborative problem-solving, helping them plan the next steps to move toward a more effective, equitable strategy for meeting the needs of students. While student support is critical at all levels, at this time this opportunity will focus on building effective systems of support in grades K–8.
Team composition: The S3 Academy is designed to support district teams. Each district team must include at least one district leader with decision-making authority who is responsible for overseeing student support work. Each district team should identify 3–4 schools serving students in grades K–8 (elementary or elementary + middle or middle) to participate in the S3 Academy, including at least one school serving elementary students.