2015 WestSpringfieldHSArtifact

West Springfield High School
West Springfield’s Outreach Team Protocol
The Outreach Team at West Springfield High School coordinates the many dropout
prevention programs at the school and provides intense individualized services to students
and families. At the outset, the team was created to support students enrolled in the
school’s Reconnecting Youth program. Over time, the team has evolved to become a
schoolwide team dedicated to working with at-risk students and making outreach to
engage families in building home-school connections.
The team has a dedicated meeting time set aside each week that brings together all
academic, administrative, and counseling staff serving students in the school’s dropout
prevention programs (e.g., Ninth Grade Academy, Alternative High School, and 21st
Century Skills Academy), as well as staff from the school’s regular academic programs.
Team members discuss all aspects of a student’s academic progress and social-emotional
development and determine the blend of services needed to help the student graduate. The
high school’s three adjustment counselors serve as the “hub” for coordination. They are in
constant and close communication to avoid overlap and duplication of academic and
counseling services provided to each student.
Over the years, additional outreach services have been added: conducting home visits;
setting a goal to meet the parents of all students; reaching out to students who had
dropped out of high school; and collaborating with middle school counselors through
monthly meetings to identify at-risk students, ease the 8th-9th grade transition, and plan
and track activities. The success of the high school’s outreach team has led the district to
work on a districtwide team, acknowledging the importance of working with the whole
family and bringing in community resources.
This West Springfield sample material can guide staff from other interested high schools in
setting up a schoolwide outreach team. The one-page Outreach Team Protocol outlines
considerations for designing a team structure that includes establishing team norms
identifying beginning actions, trouble shooting, and following up with next steps in the
West Springfield High School
Outreach Team Protocol
Goal: To establish a team of caring professionals who will work with our most ‘at risk’
students and their families out in the community in collaboration with other schools
within our district with the goal of increased home-school connection.
Team Norms:
 Hold Yourself Personally Accountable/Come Prepared and On Time for Meetings
 Stay on Agenda
 Show Respect for Views of Others
 Confidentiality
Where to Begin:
 Identify: Establish a document “At Risk Students and Teams” where students are
identified and listed. Include needs and difficulties as well as strengths.
 Collaborate: Talk with staff [i.e guidance and admin] involved with these
 Invite: Talk with the students assigned to you about making a visit to their home.
 Schedule: Contact parents explain the outreach program and set up a time to visit
at their home or alternative location.
Trouble-shooting potential issues or difficulties you may encounter:
 How do I frame this as a ‘friendly visit’
 Mandated reporting responsibilities
 Protocol for reporting
 Professional boundaries, district policies and contractual issues
 Student Confidentiality
 Other…….
Goals for next meeting:
 Solidify a list of students who may benefit from outreach and assign them to
outreach workers.
 Talk with student’s guidance/school adjustment counselors and administrators to
let them know you will be going to their home and obtain more information as to
what the concerns may be.
 Talk with your students about coming out to their homes.
 Contact parents and schedule a home visit.
 Document your visits, communications and attempts in the google document.