Student Support Services

Student support is almost any service for students outside the curriculum and instruction in schools. It can include a range of positions for adults in schools, such as counselors, librarians, school nurses, drug and alcohol counselors, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, and other qualified professional personnel, as well as others in similar roles.

Broad Supportive Roles

Many of these roles can include responsibilities such as student assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic activities, and other necessary services as part of a comprehensive program to meet student needs.

They might lead activities such as individualized counseling, academic information and afterschool programs. Student support services may also include post-high school career and college options; exposure to cultural events; mentoring programs; and services related to emergency family care for homeless and foster students. Focused on the whole student, their activities fall into the categories of prevention, intervention, transition and follow-up services for students and their families.

Student support services may also include any academic activities outside the regular classroom, especially for students who are experiencing challenges that create barriers to learning. This focuses on academic tutoring in reading, writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects; and education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy. In addition, student support services might provide in-service training, parent education, community collaboration and carry out student service program management.

One Home for Student Voice

The New York City Student Voice Collaborative (SVC) program is a school district effort to reach high school students across the city and generate a wave of student-led school improvement. SVC brings together public high school students to conduct comprehensive studies of their schools, identify relevant challenges, and implement student-led school improvement programs in partnership with staff and students.

SVC meetings are bi-weekly in the fall and weekly in the spring, with approximately 30 sessions for the school year. The group consists of students of all grades (9-12) and all levels of prior leadership experience. SVC members are eligible to earn high school credit for conducting field work – meeting weekly with their school partner and liaison outside of class time to develop a student-led school improvement project – in addition to attending sessions.

Each participating school is represented by two students and a staff liaison who provides students with weekly support and guidance. All SVC participants are required to serve on a school-based student leadership group. Members begin their work each year in collaboration with student allies both inside and outside of their schools. (Children First Network 102, 2011)

The work of the SVC students is hosted by the Student Support Services section of the New York City Department of Education. Many educators and school leaders see programs focused on student voice and Meaningful Student Involvement as being well-situated in that area of education administration.

 

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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

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