Ed Week has an article here describing a Race to the Top initiative that gives grants to school districts who pair with outside agencies to provide student support services.
I really like the idea of school/community partnerships. But I am distressed to see federal grants go to agencies providing services that should be provided to children within the schools.
It’s much more effective to have support services be part of the school community, and provided by school staff. I often had students who had refused outside counseling but would agree to meet with the school social worker. They knew him. He was available all the time. I often walked my students up to the counseling center and waited while they met him. When I had a student in crisis, I could immediately get a counselor to my classroom.
Community groups could help train teachers and counselors, and provide resources for them. But the first line of treatment for students needs to be right in the school, and available all the time.