Meeting Needs, Building Trust

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“A small rural school district, located in the northern tip of New York State, the Edwards-Knox Central School District has been a community school for 4 years. It has a total k-12 student population of 512.

Pictured: Helpers in action on Pantry Delivery Day

Jennifer Hotaling, Community School Site Coordinator at the Edwards-Knox CSD, has been in her role for approximately three years. When she came on board, during the midst of COVID, Hotaling remembers the needs were immediate. Edwards-Knox hit the ground running and implemented services where they were most needed: a food pantry was opened, and with ¾ of the student body qualifying for free lunch, lunches were provided. Hotaling and Edwards-Knox staff also liaised with members of the community to ensure working parents had safe childcare for their children who were home during online learning.

Hotaling is a connector. Edwards-Knox’s community school strategy manifests in the services and programs she uses to successfully engage students and their families. Last year they started a student employment program. This year, Hotaling manages several 11th & 12th-grade students who are able to work part-time during their free periods. These students are paid employees of the school who work alternating days so as not to interfere with their academics.”

Read the full story here.

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