Making sure students thrive in Appalachia. Communications strategist Jennifer Kotting writes, “Community schools in three counties in Kentucky have opened the doors for high school students to mentor younger students on their way to postsecondary education, for retired teachers to support schools and their own financial well-being, and for family members to engage in enriched learning opportunities.” Brookings

Community schools are supporting Philadelphia families during the pandemic. Philadelphia’s Office of Children Families spoke with Ester Roche-Curet, community school coordinator at Philadelphia’s Hamilton Disston Elementary, about her work during the pandemic. “A lot of families didn’t feel engaged with the school [before it became a Community School in 2019]. They felt it was the local school their child had to attend, but they didn’t see it as a place for them to get anything else.”

Philadelphia has 17 public schools following the community school approach, which are supported with funding from the city’s beverage tax. City of Philadelphia

Community schools build resiliency in New York. The Observer-Dispatch details how the community school approach has helped students and families in Utica, New York, stay afloat during the pandemic. “Recently, dental care services have been brought into the school thanks to the partnership. And the winter storm that closed school April 19 caused some district families to lose power, but … families [had] the chance to get ice at the school to keep their food from spoiling.” The Observer-Dispatch

How pandemic relief money is helping. The deputy U.S. secretary of education, Cindy Marten, recently visited two schools in Bellingham, Washington, where pandemic relief funds are being used for wraparound services such as additional after-school programs and the school’s family liaison, along with a new mental-health coordinator and specialists. The Bellingham Herald

Oklahoma bill has bipartisan support. Education reporter Megan Prather provides an update on a proposed Oklahoma bill that would allow school districts to apply for federal funding for a community school pilot program initiative. NonDoc

New York teachers demand more community schools. Andy Pallotta, president of the New York State United Teachers, said on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, “Community schools provide more than just an education — they build strong relationships with families and provide care for the whole child. It’s time we demand a public education system that truly supports every child. It’s time to expand New York state’s network of community schools.” WAMC Northeast Public Radio

New York State United Teachers also hosted lawmakers at community schools across the state to call for a $100 million state investment in community schools. New York State United Teachers

Why did Oakland decide to close popular schools? Journalist Jeff Bryant questions why Oakland is closing multiple community schools while welcoming charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated. Truthout

4 key insights for community school leaders. Communications strategist Jennifer Kotting and Brookings fellow Hayin Kimner offer four key insights from community school leaders in the Salt Lake City region that can be broadly applied everywhere to build resiliency during the pandemic. Brookings

How community schools can help superintendents. Brookings documents how community schools can help superintendents, with a deep dive into Metro Nashville Public Schools. Brookings

Teachers want schools empowered by community members. The California Teachers Association put the fight for more community school funding in the context of teachers fighting for better working conditions and schools for their students.California Teachers Association


Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

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