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Learning Supports Pathway: An Integrated Model for School Improvement

557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
Contact Information
Dr. Rhonda Neal-Waltman


Program Specifications


Prevention, Intervention

Age/Grade Level:






Target Settings:

Rural, Urban, Suburban, Inner City, Tribal

Target Groups:

Individuals, Clusters/Groups, Grade Level, School Wide

Other Participation Criteria:



The Learning Supports Pathway is a professional learning sequence that guides state, district, or school leadership team to align their work in a coherent system. The goals is to address multiple barriers to learning such as poverty, mental health challenges, and lack of motivation. It is based on the work of Drs. Linda Taylor and Howard Adelman of the UCLA School Mental Health Project. Services include on-site workshops to analyze infrastructure, identify root causes of under-achievement, resource mapping, and identify high-impact strategies in six practice areas: classroom-based, student-family intervention, transition support, crisis prevention, community collaboration, and family engagement. The work is job-embedded and customized for a district and school.

Program Descriptors Include:

Academic Improvement, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Bullying/Violence, Community Collaboration, Counseling/Advisors/Coaches, Family/Parental Involvement, Professional Development

Program Rating:

Strong Evidence

Starting Year:


Students Served Per Year:


Last Verified:

July 23rd, 2019

Strategies for Locating Students:


Reenrolled Students with Disabilities:


Risk Factors

Program addresses the following:

Individual Factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family Factors

  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School Factors

  • Limited resources: expenditures per student/ teacher salaries/ student-teacher ratios
  • Race/ethnicity
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community Factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Youth social attitudes

Protective Factors

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic


  • Personalized instruction and learning
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Eliminate practices that push students out of school
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is less than $25,000 or less than $500 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Federal, State, Local/City/County, District, Foundations

Program Staff Includes:

Career Coaches, Counselors, Graduation Coaches, Mental Health Therapists, Other Employees, Parents, School Administrators, Social Workers, SROs, Teachers, Volunteers

Materials Used:

Computer/Internet Based

Supporting/Partner Organizations:

Evaluation Information

Description of Program Impact:
States, districts, and schools who have implemented the Learning Supports Pathway report improved student achievement, increased graduation rates, decreased disciplinary referrals, and increased attendance. Participants who administer perception data surveys have reported an increase in school climate measures and family-community satisfaction.

How Evaluation Data Was Collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level
Outside experimental studies

Additional Evaluation Information:
Relevant URL: