The District seeks to ensure that its programs and practices are welcoming and accessible to all students regardless of socioeconomic factors. Through a variety of programs, the District seeks to support families in need of financial assistance in order to access curricular programs and activities. Further, the District recognizes the impact of socioeconomic factors on access to learning opportunities, physical and psychological health.
According to the American Psychological Association: Socioeconomic status (SES) encompasses not just income but also educational attainment, financial security, and subjective perceptions of social status and social class. Socioeconomic status can encompass quality of life attributes as well as the opportunities and privileges afforded to people within society. Poverty, specifically, is not a single factor but rather is characterized by multiple physical and psychosocial stressors. Further, SES is a consistent and reliable predictor of a vast array of outcomes across the life span, including physical and psychological health. Thus, SES is relevant to all realms of behavioral and social science, including research, practice, education, and advocacy.
As a public educational institution, we believe the Lower Merion School District has a basic responsibility to understand life circumstances – including socioeconomic status – that may impact a student’s learning opportunities and to seek ways to ameliorate that impact.