When the Whole Child Support Team concept was introduced last year at Holston Middle, the counselors were ready to welcome the process with open arms. 

“Whole-child support means you’re looking at every piece of the child, so when a kid is struggling in math, for example, we dig deep into what else is going on in their life that might lead them to struggle in math,” said sixth-grade counselor Hannah Roberts.

In just over a year, Holston’s students have already seen significant improvements in behavior and academics.

Anjelica Nichols, the seventh-grade counselor, said at one point in time 35 seventh-graders were failing a class. In just two weeks of whole-child meetings and interventions, 70% of those students no longer had Fs. 

“If we hadn’t had everyone at the table with those different ideas or reached out to the students’ families, I don’t think we would have seen that much of a turnaround,” she said. “Everyone’s insight is needed to help the child be successful.”

When a teacher notices a change in a student, they are encouraged to refer them to the Whole-Child Support Team. Counselors then conduct a root-cause analysis and determine what additional supports are needed. 

Eighth-grade counselor Taylor Branson also emphasized the importance of echoing support at home.“Be as involved as possible, and do a ten-minute check-in with your kiddo every day,” she said. “If you have any questions about your student and want our perspective, reach out! We want to work together to build support around your kids.”

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