CLEVELAND -- The United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District have partnered to wrap 17 low-performing schools with social services this school year.

The philosophy of identifying and providing needed social services in the schools has proven successful in other cities. A wraparound school enables teachers and principals to concentrate on academics, addresses the social needs of students to clear learning barriers and engages families and community members in the school's success.

"Our aspiration is for every child to graduate," said United Way President and CEO Bill Kitson. "United Way is committed to providing a holistic approach to ensure a child and their family has every resource they need to succeed."

As part of the Cleveland Plan, CMSD CEO Eric Gordon identified 13 Investment Schools to receive particular attention and resources for immediate improvement. This school year, the Investment Schools and four additional schools will receive wraparound services.

A committee made up of the principal and a teacher from each school, a parent, community member and a United Way volunteer is currently reviewing applications from 25 local nonprofits contending to secure the fundamental role as lead agency at each wraparound school.

"Delivering a quality education in every neighborhood requires the contribution, commitment and support of the entire community," said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon. Gordon said that this partnership will help the students be successful in what will be 21st century learning centers.