Engaging with Reality: In Support of Community Schools
"In an op-ed in The Huffington Post, Randi Weingarten writes that districts across the country are adopting an 'all-hands-on-deck' approach for families in crisis by starting community schools -- neighborhood public schools that meet students' academic, enrichment, social, and health needs by coordinating partners and resources. Community Schools serve as a hub connecting school, students, families, and neighborhoods. Supports can take the form of programs before and after school and during summer, medical and mental health services, food assistance, mentoring, internships, college counseling, and other social services. This approach has been shown to yield higher attendance and academic achievement, higher graduation rates and rates of matriculation to postsecondary education, increased family engagement, and healthier students. Weingarten points in particular to Cincinnati, where every public school is a community learning center, and to Syracuse, where Say Yes to Education provides the academic, health, social, family and legal supports students need to achieve the goal of attending college. In this era of budget austerity, community schools have proven an efficient and effective way to provide much-needed services, Weingarten says. 'It's time to stop ignoring poverty and the realities that disadvantaged students face,' she writes. 'We must instead address the factors that can and do impede student achievement and well-being.'"
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast