gtk-united-wayTommy loves school, but his mom does not have reliable transportation to get him there regularly. He is also is constantly sick, which means he misses even more school. As a result, Tommy is not doing well in English and math tests, and out of frustration, he starts acting out. Tommy is only in second grade.

To keep students like Tommy from patterns that could lead to dropping out, San Diego Unified School District and the City Heights Partnership for Children, anchored by United Way, have teamed up to develop an “Early Warning Continuum” pilot project. It identifies local students considered at-risk and provides personalized interventions before it is too late. The project also monitors students’ progress and determines the most helpful resources and interventions. “We launched the Early Warning Continuum in October with our partners in City Heights, to be proactive in our approaches in supporting students,” said Cindy Marten, superintendent of public education, San Diego Unified School District.

When the EWC records a combination of attendance, performance and behavioral warning factors for a student, social work interns meet with the student and parents to identify challenges and what support may be needed.
In the fictional, yet not uncommon, case of Tommy, the intern might connect the family with a local affordable car loan program and health center for preventative care. She would then follow-up with Tommy’s family to ensure that adequate resources were secured and used to improve family stability.

United Way developed and oversees technology that maintains a confidential, up-to-date, collaborative record of meetings, resources, barriers overcome and progress. Staff can see which students are improving, identify helpful interventions and notice problematic patterns.

To learn more visit or contact Tia Anzellotti at (619) 636-4139 or