Expansion of Community Schools model brings wraparound supports to more students

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“School Coordinators connect families with resources and community partners

For students to thrive, they need safe, supportive environments during the school day, at home and in their neighborhoods.  Community Schools — which offer “wraparound” support to families like enhanced social services, after-school programs, and job placement assis­tance — are the model for providing equitable, high-quality education, especially to students who live in areas of concentrated poverty.

Thanks to funding from Bridge to Kirwan legislation and The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future bill, City Schools has expanded the number of Community Schools in the district, from 50 in the 2018-19 school year to 130 today. More students in more schools are benefitting from this holistic approach to edu­cat­ion and family supports.

The idea behind the Community Schools model is to turn each school into a “community hub” where the comprehensive needs of students and families can be met in one place. This is accomplished by building a network of school staff, community organizations and volunteers that proactively engage students and families, assess their needs and connect them to services and supports.

So how does a school become a Community School? First, collaborating with either a lead agency or directly with City Schools, schools identify their community assets, needs and opportunities. Lead agencies for City Schools’ Community Schools include The University of Maryland School of Social Work, Y of Central Maryland, and Childfirst Authority — among other great organizations. Then, the school hires the Community School Coordinator (CSC), the person charged with transforming the school into a community hub. The CSC is a full-time staff person charged with supporting students and families and eliminating barriers to success.”

Read the full story here.

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