We create collaborative school communities that give voice to educators, parents and community members together with the school administration exemplify our community learning schools. In our model, the Community School Director (CSD) serves as the key point person responsible for integrating the programs and services and managing the partnerships within each community learning school.
CSDs conduct an annual needs assessment, with the aim of strategically aligning programs and services to meet the particular needs of their school community. While the central CLS team vets candidates for these positions, each school team interviews and selects its own CSD, reinforcing an authentic school-based point of view.
Each school forms its own advisory board of internal and external stakeholders to serve as the decision-making body for the CLS initiative. The advisory board crafts the school’s vision and is accountable for executing that plan. Consistency throughout the implementation of the community school model is a crucial element it’s success. In addition, the UFT’s support brings resources, mentoring and best practices to our Community Learning Schools. Nine of our schools have UFT Teacher Centers operating in their buildings, to provide quality, on-site, relevant professional development. Our CLS central support staff helps schools build internal capacity to turn their vision into reality. Two of the CLS central support staff are credentialed Teacher Center staff developers available to help all CLS schools.
Every community is different, each school “hub” design is unique and each program is targeted. Community Learning Schools can host a wide array of services that may include:
- Medical, dental and mental health programs
- Social services
- Tutoring and mentoring
- Youth empowerment activities
- Parent and community programs
- Art, music and recreation programs
- Computer education
- Food and nutrition programs
- Expanded library hours