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Bridging the Relationship Gap to Support Holistic Development: The Role of Student Success Coaches in Supporting Integrated Social-Emotional and Academic Development

Breakout Session - October 28, 2020 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of having in place a web of relationships in schools to support students’ well-being and holistic development. City Year has a model of “student success coaching” that has shown promise in addressing the “relationship gap” in systemically under-resourced schools. Participants will engage in dialogue about adapting the model in the wake of COVID-19, the pros and cons of expansion of this model, and the conditions that would make this possible.

Session Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discuss how the unique needs of systemically under-resourced schools may create need for additional human capacity to support students.
  2. Explore how Student Success Coaches provide integrated social-emotional and academic supports and implications for practice in the wake of COVID-19.
  3. Understand local exemplars of increased demand for expansion of Student Success Coaches and lessons for the broader education field.


  • Robert Balfanz, Director, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University | @bobbalfanz
  • Tasha Fowler, Vice President and Executive Director, City Year Columbus | @letsbeclear7
  • Mary Jane Stevenson, Vice President and Executive Director, City Year Los Angeles | @MaryOFAJane
  • Bobby Kessling, Product Management Director, City Year | @CityYear