Scaling Up Guide Compliments and Assists Nashville Plan
As Nashville builds up a district-wide system of community schools, planners are finding that the new Scaling Up School-Community Partnerships Guide recently released by the Coalition for Community Schools is validating much of its efforts.
Metro Nashville Public Schools and its lead partner Alignment Nashville are developing a framework for implementing and operating community schools with four pilot schools expected to roll out this fall. It's a charge they received from their Director of Schools (superintendent), Dr. Jesse Register, who recognized the community's call for community schools and understands their power as a key district strategy.
"At this point, (the guide) had kind of helped validate a lot of what we were doing," said Glen Biggs, associate director at Alignment Nashville. Biggs noted that much of what their group has accomplished so far on their matches the processes outlined in the Scale Up Guide.
He added that some of the language crafted for Nashville's plan was taken directly from the guide.
Nashville is drafting a plan that utilizes parts of a typical community school model but draws on the area's unique community resources and can be easily scalable in Nashville's education landscape. Advocates have already articulated the need and a vision for mving the entire district toward community schools and hammered out leadership roles for schools and external partners. Leaders are now in the process of developing expectations for results and a scalable model to implement at more schools.
To make this happen, the district has promoted Tony Majors (watch a video presentation from Majors), former principal of Glencliff High School to Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Majors and Glencliff were awarded a 2011 National Community School Award for Excellence this spring. It's impact that individual community schools in Nashville have made is proving to be the foundation for current scale-up efforts.
(Glencliff is also featured in a new article in National Association of Secondary School Principals' monthly magazine).
Biggs expects to use the guide to help the Nashville contigent iron out the functions and responsibilities of some of the family and resource coordinators already in place in many Nashville schools. Eventually he hopes the group will be able to convene study sessions on the guide as they move forward with their plans.
"That's part of the power of the Scale Up Guide in (getting to) use the tools that already exist," he said.