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Community School News

A day in the life of a community school director

Follow Fiorella Guevara, Community School Director for M.S. 50 in NYC on her daily responsibilities coordinating the activities, social services, and parent workshops that the mayor is hoping will help set struggling schools on a different path. The mission- treat students’ physical or emotional ailments so they can focus on learning. For Guevara, that means “day-to-day ensuring that the vision we’ve laid out is going…troubleshooting when there’s something that’s not going right with the plan". Read More >

Parents, teachers and children rally for public education at schools across the nation

Wednesday morning thousands of people staged 'walk-ins' at 800 schools across the nation demanding more funding and less testing. The walk-ins became venues for many different messages including de-emphasizing standardized tests, slowing down charter school growth and ending state takeovers of local school systems, as well as building more community schools, which offer a host of social, emotional and physical health supports. The event was organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. Read More >

Bill to provide funding for Community schools serving students who live in poverty

Baltimore City delegate Mary Washington is calling for the state to spend more money on community schools serving students living in poverty, nearly half of Maryland's public school student population. The bill sets out a $25,000 state grant over four years for qualifying schools. Principal Gaither of Wolfe Street Academy, a community school, says in support, "It's the system that discovers the need and addresses it with partnerships and ideas that are already out there waiting for clients". Read More >

New Report Shows How Community Schools Transform Schools, Communities, Lives

Today, the Center for Popular Democracy, Coalition for Community Schools, and the Southern Education Foundation released a report, Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools. The report profiles 6 schools, 3 districts and a state who have left nothing to chance. They have come to thrive through coordinated implementation of six research-based elements of Community Schools. The report offers policy templates and demonstrates success across diverse communities. Read More >

Hoping and Waiting for a Bronx School's Fresh Start to Pay Off

The New York Renewal schools program converted schools into community schools which offer services to students and their families to address issues from outside the classroom which affect learning. A public school previously closed in the Bronx has reopened as Urban Scholars Community School, drawing students from the poorest congressional district in the country, many of whom live in homeless shelters. The investment is one part of a strategy to address the vast needs of this community. Read More >

Wraparound Community Schools Are Long Term Investment, Not Quick Turnaround

Whether or not it will quickly raise test scores, the Community School model—when it is carefully and strategically implemented—is very likely to assist desperate families and coordinate medical and dental health services along with after-school enrichment for a wide range of children and families. But such a strategy is a big gamble, because it isn’t guaranteed to raise test scores according to the quick “turnaround” time line our society has come to expect. Read More >

Marty Blank Investigates the Place-Based Charter School

Marty Blank asks what responsibility public charter schools have to the neighborhoods where they are located. For community development leaders who see schools as a key institutions in their efforts to revitalize neighborhoods, it is important to look closely at the role of charter schools. Given the vital role that public schools play in our communities and our democracy and the highly conflicted charter schools environment, here are some questions we should be asking about charter schools. Read More >

Activist to lead city's community school effort

Education activist Susan Gobreski will lead the city's charge in setting up community schools throughout Philadelphia, Mayor Kenney announced Wednesday. Gobreski will be asked to establish creative community partnerships within school buildings. "It's part of an approach to tackling poverty," said Gobreski. "It's the culmination of all the other policy- how do we give each child what they need?". She is the second education activist selected by Kenney to head one of his major policy initiatives. Read More >

Can Technology Help Community Schools Go To Scale?

Easier access to more and better data paint a more complete picture of students for the multiple partners and educators supporting them and their families at a community school. The technology tools that would allow smooth, secure information sharing at scale are an area of opportunity. Reuben Jacobson, Deputy Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, explains that the more established have started developing dashboards while new or disconnected schools are still using Excel spreadsheets. Read More >

Mayor Kenney Continues His Weekly School Visits As He Assembles Plan To Fund Community Schools

Mayor Jim Kenney visited service providers at a school in West Philadelphia Thursday morning, as he draws-up his plan to expand the “community school” concept. Kenney and Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney are still devising his plan to expand community schools in the district. On a tour of the Belmont Charter School he said, "I think all the professionals that work here free up the teachers to teach. And that’s what we’re looking to do in the public schools." Read More >

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