International Center for Student Support
The Center has been established to take the work that we have done in Alaska to an international scale. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lutey at or 406.542.3334.
What does "student support" mean?
Every one of us is accountable, in some way, for student achievement. We all know that to ensure success for all children, each one of us needs to take intentional action. By enough of us taking personal responsibility for student achievement and working toward the same goal, we will realize our goal of a quality education for every student. Only when we do this, will all children learn.
Schools around the world are improving the way they do business. They are improving the way they deliver classroom instruction, measure performance and prioritize school expenditures. These changes are — and will continue to be — important, because societies are demanding results. We want to see every child succeed.
Most educators understand that schools reflect the attitudes and behaviors of the families and neighborhoods/villages within which schools reside. Students who are fully supported tend to be more engaged academically; experience less bullying; and, have fewer general discipline issues, school absenteeism, and other social and emotional problems. They have and feel the support to succeed.
Children and teens are more disconnected from their families, schools, and communities than ever before.
We address the roots of the student achievement problem (teacher effectiveness and school connectedness), rather than scattering resources across the school district. Targeting the core issues results in multiple positive outcomes, including:
- Raised student achievement
- Increased community-youth connections
- Reduced drop-out rates
- Reduced risk behaviors (suicide, drug and alcohol use, etc.)
Now is the time to act, to begin working toward a comprehensive solution.
The Center will provide meaningful, measurable, and memorable tools, training, and technical assistance.
School Board, School, and Community leadership training and development includes:
- Community, Parent and Youth engagement using the IYD framework connections through experiential activities
- A local Student Support Card
- A safe, online community that includes thousands of advocates who are committed to the education and support of the whole child
- Online tools to facilitate student experiential and reflective activities
- Online community features that efficiently and effectively facilitate ongoing engagement and support, adult-to-youth and peer-to-peer
- Innovative and inexpensive regional gatherings to promote quality connections
- Assessment instruments to measure connectedness
- Assessments of community capacity to ensure appropriate planning and action
- Local Caring School Climate Summit
- Resources to use media to increase the community support of teenagers
- Identification and allocation of resources to support school districts to build coalitions with state and local governments and organizations
- Program evaluation and ongoing adjustment for continuous improvements
IYD helps our youth by cultivating caring and connected communities. IYD's methods replace helplessness with empowerment, low self-esteem with higher self-worth, isolation with community engagement. The program will result in stronger, more resilient youth, who have the tools and the attitudes to improve their lives and contribute to their communities.
Outcomes will include:
- Improved student proficiency in classrooms & on standardized assessments
- Better graduation rates
- More student leaders and student involvement in the community
- Healthier youth who refuse drugs & alcohol
- Youth with greater self-esteem and self-worth who no longer consider suicide
WW IDEA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the home of the International Center for Student Support. Our program will improve the school environments will lead to more community engagement and stronger, healthier youth.
Integrative Youth Development (IYD) is a research-based program with proven success in helping our youth identify, build, and sustain their own personal villages by cultivating caring and connected communities. IYD's methods replace helplessness and isolation with empowerment and community engagement. IYD leads to stronger, healthier youth who are more able to resist suicide, drugs, and other risk behaviors.
IYD is the second-generation model for comprehensive youth development. It is based on the original Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement (ICE) work, co-founded by Derek Peterson, and funded in 2001 as a model for the nation, in the No Child Left Behind legislation.
The IYD framework is especially adaptive to regions with large cultural differences among their residents. It has been used around the world and has proven its success through implementation in several different populations.
In 2010, the Center's collaborative efforts resulted in significant improvement in student achievement results across Yukon-Koyukuk School District. The district's proficiency levels are the highest ever for YKSD, since 2002 when these reports were first published. From 2009, YKSD gained 11% in Language Arts an increase from 65% to 72% proficient and gained 15% in Math, an increase from 53% to 61% proficient in Math, a gain of 15%. For the first time since this report has been published in 2002, YKSD received "Yes" or "Safe Harbor" across all categories.
The program has three primary evaluative components:
- Increase in school success (increased graduation rates, student achievement and student leadership)
- Increase the number of developmental assets in the youth in the community
- Show a measurable improvement in adults' perceptions of teens
Through this program, a local district has the opportunity to not only raise student achievement, but, more importantly, to take the lead in reconnecting America, one student at a time.
Why Partner with the Center?
Schools and districts who partner with the Center, will receive immediate support for community engagement to increase student success. Your partnership today is a fiscally responsible decision to save money in the long run.
The Center's Engagement Process
Our Student Support Engagement Process is based on an expanding spiral. This process grows out of the Center's experience with school sites, school districts, faith communities and communities and backed up by research.
The work of Integrative Youth Development is an initiative; a community wide campaign for kids. We teach people the full spectrum approach to "what kids needs to succeed" and support the people who begin to do the work of coloring the world of a child.
Your community advocates will become intentional anchors in the lives of some children and youth. But, more importantly, they'll CATCH others up in the work, so more children will have anchors and a richer developmental ecology. Our advocates will be connectors and collectors.
We are using the verb and acronym CATCH to guide and support community advocates.
C – COMPEL ME — This is the promotion phase. We will always have some story telling to do. We'll have to share what we know about the developmental ecology of children and youth with individuals, small, or large groups of people. We will show the web of support story to people to have them remember what kids need to succeed. There will be some key people who we might target with the goal of having them join us in helping others remember the full spectrum approach to youth development
A – APPRECIATE ME — This is the phase where we are valuing what people are already doing in their families, schools, neighborhoods, faith communities, youth programs, and community to support children and youth. We rightfully assume that people are already doing "youth development" and all we want is to give people a language that allows them to communicate to others what kids need to succeed. It is during this phase that we collect ideas for Helping Kids Succeed – (local) Style.
T – TEACH ME — This is the phase where we provide information to people who are interested. We offer how to's, show examples of the web working in the lives of children and adults, create posters, and learning opportunities for adults and youth. Teaching through the written word, brochures, websites, etc. One of the biggest examples of this phase will be the publication and dissemination of the book Helping Kids Succeed – (local) Style.
C – COACH ME — In this phase we involve people in the work of youth development. We bring youth and adults together and coach them through "connecting activities" – how to connect in safe and meaningful ways. We will work together, alongside youth, to affect change in one of the phactors. And, through working together we will provide the modeling, practice, and reflection necessary for the youth and adults to deepen their practice of work with youth. We will create structured experiences for adults and youth to practice working together.
H – HAND ME OFF (HAND IN HAND) — In this final phase, we encourage our champions to move into the community, and begin a new campaign for kids, replicating and improving upon their previous experiences, and walking their community through CATCH. In this phase, our Hand in Hand collaborators will share insights and strategies on how to improve our work with youth to their colleagues through meetings, a community conference, and/or a social networking site.
We'll want our advocate to think strategically about the various sectors in their community. Looking for the capacity within each to move forward. I would strongly advise our advocates to take the paths of least resistant, at first, while we are building momentum for this work.
Who are the parents and extended families, school personnel, neighbors, faith community leaders and members, business men and women, youth serving program leaders, early childhood staff, drug prevention professionals, law enforcement officers who are ready to hear this story? We can design presentations for each of these audiences, in order to better "fit" the professional outcomes needed in their work.