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Family and student needs will be focus of a lead social service agency at each school

By Patrick O'Donnell, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland school district wants to add social support services to all 13 of its "Investment Schools" this year, not just the academic and atmosphere changes that last year's school levy is already paying for.

The district and the United Way of Greater Cleveland are seeking proposals from groups that want to serve as the "lead agency" for an individual school. That means placing someone in each school full-time to talk to students and families, find out what services they need most and then connect them to the right program.

"They make sure that the services that need to happen, happen," said William Kitson, executive director of the United Way chapter. He said the lead agency will be more responsible for coordinating services than providing them all.