HISD Board of Education to consider policy reinforcing wraparound services commitment

Wraparound services are key part of Achieve 180 plan to support and empower struggling schools

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education tonight will consider a policy designed to reinforce the district’s commitment to providing students with wraparound services to better support their social and emotional needs outside the classroom.

The proposed policy – titled Student Welfare: Student Support Services – outlines the board’s belief that wraparound services are rooted in strong communities and directs the superintendent to develop the framework for implementing community-based services.

The services are designed to address critical issues such as mental health, physical needs, food insecurity, violence at home, parent incarceration, and legal and crisis support.

“Our goal in HISD is to teach the whole child,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said. “When a child’s needs outside the classroom are met, they come to the classroom better prepared to focus on the task at hand — their education.”

Wraparound services are an integral part of the district’s Achieve 180 initiative, which calls for the district to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities as a way to increase student achievement.

Achieve 180 takes best practices from successful school turnaround initiatives and implements them at the district’s most struggling schools. Those best practices include hiring effective teachers and strong principals as well as creating an environment of high expectations for students and staff.

HISD policy changes must be approved twice by the board before they can formally take effect.

Also on Thursday, the board will consider several improvement and turnaround plans for schools designated as “improvement required” by the Texas Education Agency. The plans will be presented by the district leaders in charge of turnaround efforts.

“Neither our students nor our schools are defined by their IR status,” Superintendent Carranza said.  “We are committed to putting the best strategies and support systems in place to make sure they have everything they could possibly need to meet the standards set forth by the state.”

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. Click here to view the full agenda. The board meeting will be broadcast live online at www.hisdtv.org.