Student achievement depends not only on academic skills, but on social, emotional, and family stability factors that affect the student’s ability to learn.  Schools are often the gateway between families, and a variety of agencies, programs and services aimed at improving barriers to student learning.

Student support services include a wide range of interactions and interventions between students and school staff, community organizations and the community at large.  Support services include:

  • Health Services – School nurses or visiting health professionals provide a range of services including health and wellness screenings, H1N1 immunizations, health referrals, and student education on health and nutrition topics.
  • Nutrition Programs – Many schools provide students with subsidized breakfast and lunchtime meals, as well as continued meal programs that run during the summer months.
  • Special Education Services – Schools provide behavioral, occupational, and speech and language therapy for a variety of student needs.
  • Before & Afterschool Care – Schools frequently provide age-appropriate child care and extra-curricular opportunities for students whose parents work during the day.
  • Services for At-Risk Students – Schools are increasingly providing programs and services to students who are facing serious barriers to their educational success.  Services may include the early identification of students who are at risk of dropping out, alternative education programs, career and technical training, and job placement services.

For more information, see Critical Issue: Linking At-Risk Students and Schools to Integrated Services.

SLPS Community Education Full Service Schools

The most comprehensive approach to school-linked services combines school restructuring with service delivery in what some educators term full-service schools.1 The St. Louis Public School District has developed 13 Community Education Full Service Schools.  These school sites are open to the community before, during and after regular school hours, seven days a week.  These sites foster strong community partnerships with families, youth, school staff, neighborhood residents and community service providers.  The schools aim to improve student achievement through positive youth development and community connection.

Homeless Students

Local school districts in St. Louis, MO and IL have programs and policies in place to aid homeless students and unaccompanied youth – teenagers and young adults who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and may reside without parents in shelters, in homes for unwed mothers or who are runaways.  The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (1987), authorizes the creation of theEducation for Homeless Children and Youth Program nationally.  Local school districts in St. Louis, MO and IL have programs and policies in place to aid homeless students as well as professional liaisons to help students obtain needed services.

1Melaville, Atelia. (1996). Critical Issue: Linking At-Risk Students and Schools to Integrated Services. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.  Retrieved on August 27, 2010.