Coalition for Community Schools - Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

School Details

School Initiative Information

Initiative Name: Kent School Services Network
Leadership Type: CBO led
Location Type: Suburban
Address: 2390 Knapp Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49525 US
Phone: 616-550-2587


The Kent School Service Network (KSSN) was created in 2006 after the Kent County Family and Children’s Coordinating Council decided how to strategically use community resources to support achievement. The Council collaborated with key community partners, including county government, local foundations, the United Way, county agencies, local health care organization and the Kent Intermediate School District in order to bring the school and community together to attain the following results for children and families: Students learn, grow, and achieve (increased achievement and attendance), Students and families get the services they need at schools, All children are physically, emotionally, socially and academically ready to learn, and Improved coordination of services for the benefit of students and families. KSSN has been successful due to having a strong public private partnership at the beginning willing to support a community school approach in those school districts with the highest need. The initiative has tripled over five years and is now in 18 schools across 6 districts.

Services/Programs Offered

Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. KSSN schools may include the following staff:
·         Community School Coordinators: Provide coordinated access to health and human services within the school setting. Responsibilities include collaboration with schools and service providers, coordinating and linking families to community and local resources, organizing activities for parents and community, developing relationships with businesses, faith-based institutions and other non-profit partners, data collection, and reporting.
·         Site Team Clinicians: Provide strengths based, child centered and family focused services to families in schools, in home, and the targeted local community. Responsibilities include individual and family therapy, crisis response, early impact services, clinical case management, and psycho-educational group services provided during the school and after school.
·         Department of Human Services (DHS) Staff: Provide social services to students and families who are chronically absent, truant or suspended as well as working with families to help identify and develop plans for self-sufficiency and connect families to necessary services.
Nurses and Health Aides: Provide on-site medical services to students to pro-mote health and prevent disease among students in the KSSN schools.


·         Kent Intermediate School District
·         Grand Rapids Public Schools
·         Cedar Springs Public Schools
·         Godfrey- Lee Public Schools
·         Godwin Heights Public Schools
·         Kelloggsville Public Schools
·         Kentwood Public Schools
·         Wyoming Public Schools
·         Kent County Health Department
·         Spectrum Health - Healthier Communities
·         Network 180
·         Kent County Department of Human Services
·         Kent County Government
·         Grand Rapids Community Foundation
·         Steelcase Foundation
·         Frey Foundation
·         Keller Foundation
·         W.K. Kellogg Foundation
·         Sebastian Foundation
·         Heart of West Michigan United Way
·         Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation
·         Dyer-Ives Foundation
·         Arbor Circle
·         D.A. Blodgett/St. John’s
Family Outreach Center


All KSSN schools exhibited improvements in their MEAP test scores. The percentage of students in each grade in each school who met or exceeded grade-level standards in math or reading was higher in almost every school after the implementation of KSSN than prior to its implementation. Chronic absenteeism rates (absent 10.0% to 19.9% of all possible school days) declined from the first year of data collection to the last in half of the KSSN schools.

Funding Sources

Funding for the Kent School Services Network comes from local foundations, resources redirected by provider participants, the state Department of Human Services and contributions of cash and in-kind services from participating schools.  Additional funding is being sought from state and federal grants along with national foundations with a mission of supporting children and education.

Resources for the Field

Initiative Demographics

Kent School Services Network serves approximately 11,512 students.
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