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News Article

Springfield, Missouri Close to Opening First Community School


Springfield (MO) Public Schools will name an elementary school in February as the new pilot for its community schools initiative.
The school district has been studying and researching community schools in Tulsa and Evansville, Indiana for months, according to the Springfield News Leader.  The new community school will open for the 2012-2013 school year and will implement a year-round calendar, or "balanced calendar" as Springfield officials are calling it, a year later.
"What we learned was bringing the agencies and social services together under one roof and then engaging parents in a different way than we've done before seems to make the biggest impact in schools," said its Associate Superintendent Ben Hackenwerth. "The idea is we help improve the entire community so they can better support the students in that particular neighborhood. We'll spend a lot of time working with staff and parents and engaging parents."
The article mentions community schools as one of the reform models preferred by Sec. Arne Duncan and the Department of Education. The district could use federal Title I money to help fund its community schools initiative and work with partners to help offset costs. Ultimately, parents and staff will help guide the overall design of the school.

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