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Community School News

Concern About Education and Oakland Youth (Community Voices)

An Oakland Unified School District Teacher, Chela Delgado speaks on the strengths of OUSD and against the popular movement of ‘school reform.’ She maintains that Oakland’s revival hinges on the community school model that prioritizes local leadership--students, families, and staff. OUSD relies on community engagement, for example through its restorative justice program, as one way to design creative solutions to overcome barriers. Read More >

New deputy mayor tells DCPS teachers she hopes to work ‘side by side’

D.C’s new deputy mayor for education makes teacher-collaboration one of her top priorities. Jennifer Niles spoke to the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) regarding district, school, and union cooperation and progress. Establishing more community schools is a top priority for the WTU; both Niles and the union also believe that creating a less punitive school and district culture is a top priority moving forward. Read More >

5 IEL-Connected Professional Honored As ‘Leaders to Learn From’

Education Week has released its annual Leader’s to Learn From special report, and IEL is proud to report that five of the sixteen leaders featured are part of our network. The Coalition for Community Schools is especially pleased to see Superintendent Mark Benigni, Christopher Chatman, and Tiffany Anderson, all of whom have been doing important work as leaders in the community schools movement. Congratulations to all those recognized this year! Read More >

Community Schools Tour in San Diego Offers Up-Close Lessons

One the eve of the School Superintendent Association’s National Conference on Education last week, the IEL co-hosted a study tour of two San Diego Community Schools with the AASA. Participants were able to speak with principals, community organization leaders, and students about all that goes in to building a community school. Tour leaders Marty Blank, IEL President, and Jan Christensen of Redwood City School District, highlighted important lessons learned within the exemplary schools. Read More >

Extra Time Yields Promising Results for Struggling Connecticut Schools

Superintendent Mark Benigni from Meriden School District (CT) has found promising results in struggling schools by expanding learning time and educational opportunities such as full-day kindergarten, Saturday enrichment academies, and increased time for teacher collaboration. By getting the community involved, adding more and better time, and giving a students a voice, Dr. Benigni has helped change the mindset and climate of the schools in Meriden. Read More >

Georgia Democrats Offer Counter to Deal’s School Takeover Plan

Georgia “Senate Democratic leaders countered Gov. Nathan Deal’s school takeover proposal with their own plan to transform dysfunctional classrooms into “community schools…” The governor, according to the article, is willing to consider the new proposal as an addition to his bill. There is still lots to hurdles to jump, including internal debates within the Democratic Party, but for now community school are on the table in Georgia. Read More >

Support Rings for Community Schools Approach at Senate Roundtable Discussion

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, led by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), invited school and program leaders to discuss innovative practices to boost student achievement. Community School Coordinator Henriette Taylor, with the Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School, was one of many voices championing the benefits of full-service Community Schools. Innovation is as fundamental as building partnerships and engaging communities. Read More >

Senate Education Committee Discusses the Unmet Needs of Struggling Students

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions discussed the importance of teacher quality and school leadership at its second hearing on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Testimonies came from a teacher, both a district and state superintendent, as well as an educational researcher. These speakers emphasized the challenges students face and the role that local leadership can play in promoting student academic achievement. Read More >

Teacher Tells Congress: ‘We Simply Cannot Ignore the Stunning Impact of Income Inequality and High Child Poverty’

Katrina Kirkbush, a teacher at Baltimore’s Wolfe Street Academy, advocated before the U.S House of Representatives’ committee on education on behalf of community schools. Kirkbush championed community schools as Congress’s best shot to support the social and emotional needs of students from impoverished communities. Her school is proof that when a school addresses such barriers, the results are crystal clear. Read More >

Suzette Jefferson: Community Schools are what Dallas ISD Needs

Community Schools are just what the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) needs. Suzette Jefferson, a parent organizer with the Texas Organizing Project, made this claim in support of the inception of community schools to address the many challenges facing the district. Jefferson believes that community school’s holistic approach can better support the district’s students, families, and greater communities. The DISD serves over 160,000 students across 224 schools. Read More >

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