“James”, a fifth grader, had a high absenteeism rate and struggled academically and behaviorally in school. The local mental health center was considering hospitalization due to threats of self-harm. At the initial child and family team meeting in January 2007, his family defined positive engagement in school as their primary goal for their son. School, family and community partners were committed to a consistent and coordinated wraparound plan that included mental health and family supports, as well as strategies to ensure success with academics and extra-curricular activities. Six months later, James had passing grades in all his classes. His attendance improved and his behavior incidents were reduced. Communication between school and home improved. James’ parents reported that they felt like the school staff really wanted him there, which was a key indicator of success to the family.
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