Education is the great equalizer.
For more than 40 years, SupportEd has been committed to using evidence-based strategies to advance educational equity, increase school attendance and engagement, and decrease system involvement.
DID YOU KNOW it is illegal to not attend school? Each state has a compulsory education law that requires children to be in school. But, why? Education is the foundation of success, and the first step in receiving an education is being present in school. When a child misses school, they miss out on opportunities to develop relationships with caring adults and peers and to build critical skills needed to succeed in today's world. Missing only TWO DAYS a month has devastating impacts on a child's overall health and development and puts them at risk of social isolation, school dropout, and engaging in illegal or risky behavior. Ensuring all children receive a quality education is a critical first step toward breaking intergenerational cycles of school dropout, undereducation, violence, and incarceration.
THE GOOD NEWS is that this is a solvable problem. Communities must come together to partner with students and families, remove barriers to school attendance, and implement evidence-based best practices to get kids in school and engaged in learning, and our model does just that!
INTRODUCING SupportEd, an innovative approach to solving our nation's educational crisis. SupportED is the product of over 40 years of research at the University of Kansas and combines behavioral science with functional mentoring and community collaboration to increase school attendance and divert truant students and their families from the juvenile justice system. We work as a village to identify needs, coordinate services, and implement evidence-based individualized interventions to get kids in school and engaged in learning. We pair each student with a caring adult mentor who teaches adaptive skills, counteracts missed educational instruction, instills confidence, provides support and guidance, and expands opportunities. We also help students and families access community resources and services. We infuse resources in communities at no cost to the family and we blend the talents and knowledge of diverse partners and collaborators to deliver a community-based, rehabilitative approach.
The SupportEd Process
The student meets the legal definition of truancy.
The student's school reports the student to the State.
The student and their family are offered SupportEd in lieu of court involvement.
The student is paired with a mentor who facilitates weekly 1.5-hr meetings, monitors weekly attendance, implements a reinforcement-based intervention, and bridges communication gaps between the family and school.
We administer a functional assessment of the student's truant behavior to identify the contributing and maintaining factors.
We create an attendance improvement plan based on the assessment results.
The mentor counteracts missed educational instruction, builds skills, instills confidence, solves problems, and reinforces school attendance.
The family receives assistance in accessing needed community resources and services.
The intervention is systematically faded based on the student's performance.
Court backup is requested only after reasonable efforts are exhausted and the student's performance remains stable or worsens.
students served since 2008
graduated the program
What Others Are Saying
"I really enjoyed having someone who helped me out in every way possible by helping with homework or talking about our personal lives and overall, just being really helpful with me."
"My son always has great things to say and enjoys the time he spends with his mentor. He is always checking to see if it is a day that she will pick him up from school."
"She [the mentor] is polite, respectful, flexible, and understanding. She shares a genuine interest in supporting the youth she serves and handles herself in a professional manner."
"My son has really enjoyed his time with his mentor, and I’ve seen some great changes in his behavior."
"The program helped me be a better student in school."
"The teachers appreciate the extra support from the mentor."
Meet Our Partners
When absenteeism is the issue, the responsibility to change cannot be placed solely on the student or family, but rather it takes a village to successfully address.
Meet Our School Districts
Bring SupportEd to your community!
Although truancy impacts schools nationwide, many schools do not have systems in place that allow timely and effective action. Truancy interventions are most effective when families, schools, and community agencies work collaboratively to address the interrelated variables correlated with school non-attendance. SupportEd’s model engages the entire community in a collaborative effort to get kids in school and engaged in learning. SupportED’s 45-year history in Douglas County speaks to the program’s durability and our long line of research supports the program’s effectiveness in reducing truancy in Douglas County. We are confident that SupportEd can help reduce truancy in your community, too. CSC can help you ensure that all children and youth in your community are receiving the education to which they are entitled.