SchoolSmartKC Partners With IBosswell to Conduct Survey on Out of School Needs

SSKC has partnered with IBosswell to assist in research of essential social services needed by our students in KCPSS schools who are at high risk of underachieving and/or chronic absenteeism due to out-of-school factors such as inadequate or unstable housing, mental or physical health problems, food insecurity, etc.  The goal of this new framework is to build on current efforts undertaken by SSKC and partners and facilitate the matching of students to needed social services in a more efficient and effective way.

Currently, school personnel – both staff or, in some cases, non-staff such as Communities in Schools site coordinators – reach out to a range of agencies operating in the KC metropolitan area in an effort to connect students with critical supports and services. Based on its experience working with traditional district and charter schools, SSKC sees an opportunity for greater efficiency, coordination, and accountability so that more students and a greater number of schools can receive the services they need in a timely and effective manner, and school-based personnel can more easily connect service providers with students.

Instead of having social workers or other school-based personnel search for the services each time a crisis or need arises, SSKC envisions a new way of responding to students’ needs whereby high demand services are on “stand-by” and service providers are ready to engage with school personnel to address students’ needs through partners such as CIS and others.   A more systematic approach would facilitate the work of school-based personnel who would spend less time “shopping around” for services and make it easier for schools and their service provider partners to figure how to bundle or sequence services, as needed.   Coordination among different types of services is particularly important given that Tier 3 students are often dealing with multiple out-of-school factors.

IBosswell we be completing their research in September. Following the completion of this research, a programmatic framework for a better system will be developed  from knowing the greatest needs, what’s working, what’s not working and how best to connect provider and schools to best serve student/family’s needs.

For more information about this survey, how SSKC supports out of school needs, and our work in starting smart, contact Juan Rangel, Director of Family Engagement, at jrangel@schoolsmartkc.org.

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