To support students in navigating a challenging academic year, the Washington state office of Communities In Schools® (CISTM) and the All Points North Foundation partnered to address social-emotional development in two rural middle schools with a program assisting 47 students in navigating social-emotional learning challenges in school and life. Despite the increased isolation brought on by the pandemic, new findings show that 63% (12 of 19) of students completing the program experienced social-emotional learning improvements over the course of the program. In addition, 51% (24 of 47) of the case managed students improved on their attendance goals, a key metric in CISTM’s social, emotional and academic development assessment (SEAD).

The two schools, LaVenture Middle School in Mount Vernon and North Pines Middle School in Spokane Valley, faced challenges due to limited community resources and geographic isolation. The grant from All Points North Foundation provided $60,000 in funding to support CISTM in layering social-emotional assessments and interventions across every stage of case management. This unique partnership leveraged the national impact of All Points North Foundation with the local expertise of CISTM affiliates serving Whatcom-Skagit and Spokane.

CISTM provided community resource coordination and navigation to support approximately 1,200 students at the two schools. CISTM also case managed a subset of students to connect them with tailored resources and social-emotional interventions. Through individual outreach, CISTM connected students and families with professional mental health services, peer small groups, and additional resources to improve emotional wellness.

“The COVID-19 pandemic drew special attention to the social and emotional learning needs of middle school students, particularly in rural areas,” said Tony Moten, Director of Education Grant Partnerships, All Points North Foundation. “We applaud the success of CISTM in achieving SEAD improvements in 65% of the students completing the program.”

“CISTM is grateful for the support of All Points North Foundation and its focus on middle school social and emotional learning,” said Phil Marr, Program Director, Communities In Schools of Washington. “Our outcomes show that by focusing on individual students’ social and emotional needs, we can have a significant impact.”

About All Points North Foundation

As one of the few foundations focused on public middle school education (grades 6-8), All Points North Foundation recognizes the vital importance of the middle-school years in shaping the future of our nation’s youth. The foundation funds projects in underserved communities (both rural and urban) that prepare and retain middle-school teachers in an ever-changing education climate, and help students grow both academic and socially/emotionally.