Gainesville, Virginia schools have implemented a variety of student-led initiatives to gain support from the community for the benefit of the school culture. These initiatives involve the intermediation of community social service agencies to provide case management services within the school building. The preferred system is clustering, which tracks children from kindergarten (or even preschool) to high school and provides corresponding support services at each school throughout the process. Students enrolled in the school clinic are referred to the primary care community health center for a routine dental exam, cleaning and fluoride.
Surveys of students from two Delaware schools with wellness centers showed that users of the center were more likely than non-users to undergo physical exams, gynecological exams, psychological counseling and eye exams. In order to link school and center staff, a working group composed of administrative, office and front-line workers was formed to solve the difficult process of changing roles and relationships. The movement toward service integration has had an effect on reducing red tape in some programs, but professionals continue to face conflicting eligibility criteria and restrictions that accompany categorized programs. A number of important authorities have emerged, each with a different vision of what needs to be done to change the environment in schools. During the term of office of a conservative governor, who refused to allow public funds to be used in school clinics, a health center was removed from the Quincy school campus. A school mental health center transfers the functions of a community mental health center to a school building.
In several communities, alternative schools for adolescent parents have been organized with funding from foundations and government grants. Initial communication problems between school agencies were overcome by inviting the principals and counselors of the pilot schools to be part of the interviewing team and involved the adoption of hiring decisions. The strong links between school climate and academic achievement make it essential that all students have the opportunity to attend schools that provide a safe and supportive environment in which they can thrive and participate fully in their studies.
Student-led initiativeshave been successful at gaining support from the community at large for the benefit of the school culture at Gainesville, Virginia schools. The student-led initiatives implemented in Gainesville, Virginia schools are an example of how communities can come together to create a better learning environment for students. By providing case management services within the school building, students are able to receive support from social service agencies that can help them succeed academically.
Additionally, by providing access to physical exams, gynecological exams, psychological counseling and eye exams through wellness centers, students are able to receive comprehensive care that can help them stay healthy and focused on their studies. Furthermore, by creating alternative schools for adolescent parents with funding from foundations and government grants, students are able to receive specialized support that can help them balance their studies with parenting responsibilities. Overall, student-led initiatives have been successful at gaining support from the community at large for the benefit of the school culture at Gainesville, Virginia schools. By providing access to comprehensive care and specialized support services, these initiatives have helped create a safe and supportive environment in which students can thrive academically.