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What Are Schools Doing to Address Societal Problems?

What Are Schools Doing to Address Societal Problems? (3.6)

Many schools have taken innovative steps over the past decade to address problems that have impact student's lives. Various programs that address social problems have been created, and they are expensive. What social services should be delivered through public schools has been debated over the years. Some people feel that state funding should cover health, mental health, and even family planning clinics.

A Few Intervention Programs....

Peer counseling

The aim of intervention programs is to address the behavioral, social and academic adjustment of at-risk children and adolescents. Peer counseling is an intervention program that is often monitored by a school counselor or a trained adult. Students are "trained" to counsel other students. Conflict mediation is often used through peer counseling in order to help students resolve their problems. Evidence indicates that both peer counselors and students experience a greater ability to deal with problems. Peer counseling is often combined with cross-age tutoring. In this learning situation the older students counsel the younger ones on such topics as drugs, peer pressure, delinquency, dropping out of school, suicide, smoking and many other social issues. This kind of mentoring is usually a positive experience for all students involved.

 

Full-service schools

At full-service schools, students and families receive health screening, psychological and drug prevention counseling, parent education, and family planning information. These schools are usually found in low-income urban areas.

School-based interprofessional case management

In responding to the needs of at-risk students, this approach forms a partnership between home, school and the community. Professionally trained case managers work directly with teachers, the community and the family to coordinate and deliver appropriate services for at-risk students and their family.

Some other things....

Compensatory Education

These are federally funded programs designed to meet the learning needs of at-risk students, the largest of which is called Title 1. Title 1 was launched in 1965, and designed to improve basic skills of low-ability students from low-income families.. This was called Chapter 1 between 1981 and 1994. The Educational Excellence for All Children Act of 1999, called for dramatic new steps to improve education for at-risk students. This act called for an end to "social promotion". Students who participate in Title 1 programs are usually taught through "pull-out" programs. The effectiveness of these programs is inconclusive. Studies show a positive effect on student's achievement during the early grades, but these gains decrease during the middle school grades.

Alternative Schools

Alternative school is usually a smaller school separate from the regular school. It is organized as a school within a school. These schools provide remedial instruction and individualize counseling.

Activity 1

1. What Intervention programs are at your school and how effective are they?

2. What Title 1 programs are visible and implemented at your school? Do they work? Explain your answer.

3. Would Internal Suspension be considered an alternative school? Why or why not?

 

Vocabulary

Peer counseling-an arrangement whereby students, monitored by a school counselor or teacher, counsel one another in such areas as low achievement, interpersonal problems, substance abuse, and career planning.

Full-service schools-schools that provide students and their families with medical, social and human services, in addition to their educational programs.

School-based inter-professional case management-an approach to education in which professionally trained case managers work directly with teachers, the community, and families to coordinate and deliver appropriate services to at-risk students and their families.

Compensatory education programs-federally-funded educational programs designed to meet the needs of low-ability students from low-income families.

Alternative school-a small, highly individualized school separate from a regular school;designed to meet the needs of students at risk.

School-within-a-school-an alternate school (within a regular school) designed to meet the needs of students at risk.

 

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