Skip to main content
Superintendents Supporting High Poverty Schools: School-based Social Services Coordination
New Superintendent's E-Journal (2014)
  • Deborah S. Peterson, Portland State University
  • Nora Lehnhoff

Knowing the impact of poverty on learning, many superintendents are looking for concrete solutions that remove non-academic barriers to learning. This article shares how superintendents can support academic success for students living in poverty by providing wraparound social services support. This model of support reduces non-academic barriers to learning: hunger, homelessness, and lack of access to mental health and other health services. In a five-year period of time, the program provided over 2700 hours of mental health counseling, clothing for 450 students, food for 400 families, rent and utility assistance for 204 families, drug and alcohol treatment for 26 students, and glasses for 44 students with vision impairment. This article shares the school-based social services model and provides a roadmap for superintendents who want to increase academic achievement in schools with high poverty.

Publication Date
January, 2014
Citation Information
Deborah S. Peterson and Nora Lehnhoff. "Superintendents Supporting High Poverty Schools: School-based Social Services Coordination" New Superintendent's E-Journal (2014)
Available at: