Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap
School-community partnerships are common in schools that are closing the achievement gap. The California P-16 (Pre-kindergarten through Higher Education) Council, convened by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, supported creating partnerships as a strategy for closing the achievement gap.
From Closing the Achievement Gap, Report from Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s California P-16 Council, Recommendation 3: Develop Partnerships to Close the Achievement Gap:
Connecting schools with educational organizations, city and county agencies, faith-based organizations, parent groups, and businesses is necessary to foster partnerships that will support a well-defined student support system. Such partnerships recognize that students have needs outside the classroom that, if unmet, can significantly and adversely affect their ability to learn. Breaking down barriers and creating partnerships throughout California is an important step toward implementing a consistent approach to high quality and inclusive educational program.1
How Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) Can Help
- SAPs provide opportunities for schools to partner with other community entities thus providing a comprehensive approach for addressing barriers to learning
- SAPs promote opportunities to expand existing resources by working with others
- SAPs help strengthen the community by involving all stakeholders and focusing services and resources on developing successful students
- SAPs serve as a conduit for the delivery of multiple services that are available to students and families at the school site and/or off of the school site.
- SAPs can also provide a plethora of community resources for staff, students and their families.