Campus specialists to coordinate non-academic supports for students
Wisdom High’s School’s new Wraparound Resource Specialist Wagma Isaqzoy has only officially been on the job for a few weeks, but her efforts are already making a lasting impact on students.
Recently, with the help of the nonprofit group Be the Peace Be the Hope and the support of Wisdom High School’s ESL Department, Isaqzoy organized a three-day workshop for 200 of the school’s newcomer students. The workshop focused on the unique social and emotional needs of being new to the United States and culminated with a celebration event on campus Dec 11. At the event, students received a Citizenship Month certificate from the Houston Mayor’s Office of New Americas.
“The workshop and celebration were a powerful way for these students to recognize that although they are all from different countries and may speak different languages, they are all going through many of the same challenges and have many of the same hopes and dreams,” said Isaqzoy.
Isaqzoy is one of more than a dozen Wraparound Resources Specialists that who been hired at schools across the district as part of Every Community Every School. The districtwide initiative aims to connect schools to non-academic supports needed to improve the well-being and academic achievement of all students.
Often called wraparound services, these non-academic supports address critical issues such as mental health and physical health needs, food insecurity, lack of stable housing, violence, incarceration of a parent, and many other challenges that can have adverse effects on a student’s readiness and ability to learn.
“When wraparound services are provided in tandem with strong academics and high-quality teaching, schools can truly meet the needs of the whole child,” said Assistant Superintendent of Wraparound Services Rudy Trevino.
More specialists will be hired at schools across the district in the coming months, with the goal of having a focus on a feeder pattern concept by late spring 2018. Campus specialists will be funded by the district but will focus on meeting the unique needs of each campus community.
Specialists will work on building relationships within their school and in their community, assessing the most urgent needs of their students and ultimately connecting students and families to needed services.