Efforts to provide wraparound social and emotional supports in Massachusetts schools may have given elementary students a boost in reading and math achievement, according to the final report of an evaluation by the American Institutes for Research.
The Wraparound Zones Initiative, part of the state’s Race to the Top grant, provided funding and support to help 32 schools in seven districts incorporate nonacademic interventions in their school turnaround efforts. These included partnerships with parent volunteers, local mental-health providers, and community groups focused on improving school climate and discipline.
The programs had no effect on student attendance or suspensions, but they were associated with significant improvements in math for 4th graders in the second year of implementation, and in reading for 3rd graders in the third year. The initiative was also linked to a boost in the share of schools that were able to shed their low-achieving status.
A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2015 edition of Education Week as School Improvement