After decades of reform, America's public schools continue to fail particular groups of students; the greatest opportunity gaps are faced by those whose achievement is hindered by complex stressors, including disability, trauma, poverty, and institutionalized racism. When students' needs overwhelm the neighborhood schools assigned to serve them, they are relegated to increasingly isolated educational environments. These placements negatively impact students by reinforcing patterns
of institutionalization and persistent exclusion.
Unconditional Education (UE) offers an alternate approach that transforms schools into communities where all students can thrive. Within UE schools, student supports are deployed when and where they are needed. Realignment of the resources associated with serving high-needs youth allows students to remain in their natural communities while schools gain access to the academic, behavioral, and clinical expertise required to support them. Furthermore, UE reduces the need for more intensive and
costly future remediation by pairing a holistic, multi-tiered system of supports with an intentional focus on overall culture and climate, and promotes systematic coordination and integration of funding and services by identifying gaps and eliminating redundancies to increase the efficient allocation of
available resources. This book is an essential resource for mental health and educational stakeholders (i.e., school social workers, therapists, teachers, school administrators, and district-level leaders) who are interested in adopting an unconditional approach to supporting the students within their schools.