How do we ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in school and have a strong start toward being productive contributors to our society? That is the core question for school policymakers and planners.
Nationally, there is great concern and debate about how to raise student achievement, reduce dropout rates, address disparities among children from different socio-economic backgrounds, close racial and ethnic achievement gaps, and increase expectation levels of—and support for—all children. There are deep concerns about how best to serve transient students, the growing numbers of children with limited English proficiency, immigrant populations, and students with disabilities. Furthermore, we need to address the short and long-term effects on student learning of natural and man-made disasters, from hurricanes to school shootings and other forms of violence.
Scholastic and the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools have collaborated to develop an innovative initiative aimed at helping states and districts transform education systems to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed at school. Based on 30 years of research by UCLA professors, Drs. Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, the Rebuilding for Learning initiative builds the capacity of state and district leaders to develop proactive systems to address barriers to learning and teaching, and to re-engage students who have become disengaged from classroom instruction.
The initiative, made available by Scholastic and the UCLA Center as a community service at no charge, offers leaders frameworks for comprehensive systems of learning supports, as well as guidance and support for movement toward developing systems that administer the resources, strategies, and practices that provide physical, social, emotional, and intellectual supports that students need for success in and out of school. Rebuilding for Learning provides professional development and on-site technical assistance and guidance to state and district leaders.
To further support the initiative, the Rebuilding for Learning Online Leadership Institute orients school leaders to the need for student learning supports, the full continuum of essential school-community interventions, and the core principles and tenets of comprehensive learning support systems. Leadership teams that successfully complete the online institute have an emerging “blueprint” that enables them to more deeply investigate student learning supports and the feasibility of instituting change in their states and districts.