With the goal to improve the atmosphere on school campuses, Waco ISD is partnering with Baylor University social work students. 

Starting in August, several graduate social work students will be placed on selected campuses in Waco ISD. This will only include elementary and middle schools. 

“In this program, there will be several interns working together as a team with a coordinator that we will hire who will provide some additional training and specialized supervision in that area of school social work,” said Interim Dean of Social Work at Baylor University, Dr. Jon Singletary. 

The services focus on reducing behavioral problems, making sure the students have a good attendance, and meet their developmental needs. 

“Part of our support will be providing unique kinds of encouragement and learning reinforcements and helping parents understand how they can do that better as well as the teachers so that the students are really then able to stay in the classroom where we know the best learning happens.” said Dr. Singletary. 

Around 90% of Waco ISD students come from poverty. The school district says that plays a huge role in the resources their students have and why this program is necessary. 

“We are pulling from a variety of different models that we look at that have been implemented in different school districts across the country, and where research has shown us that there has been effectiveness,” said Baylor University Lecturer, Carrie Arroyo. 

Waco ISD is confident it will be successful. 

“We get a lot of value for the dollar because they are either master level students or doctoral students who are supervised by faculty and staff,” said Waco ISD Superintendent, Dr. Bonny Cain.