30 secondsWelcome all.Outline agenda for the 1/5 hours together:I’m going to talk about what a community school is, and introduce the challenge of how we move from a series of pilots to scaled impactThen we’ll watch a clip from a recent PBS documentary: The Graduates/Los Graduados, featuring Chastity Salas, who recently graduated from a Children’s Aid Society Community School – Fannie Lou Hamer in the South BronxThen I’ll introduce our panel, who will talk about how the City, under Mayor-elect de Blasio’s leadership, can bring community schools to scale And finally, we’ll have time for Q & A.
2 min.Imagine a school where:parents bring their babies to play and learn, and to meet other parentstoddlers and pre-schoolers come for head start classes, getting prepared to come to kindergarten just across the hallWhen kids have a toothache, they can walk down the hall and see a dentist at a full-service health clinicWhere parents come for GED classes, or for workshops on talking to your pre-teens about sex, or just for coffee When a family is facing eviction, they can see someone in the school to connect them with help needed helpWhen a child is struggling in math, they get the help they need both during the school day and after-school.Schools like the one I described are called community schools.There is a raging debate going on in education today.On the one hand, so called “no excuses” voices, which say that educators are using poverty as an excuse for their failure to educate children. The only thing that matters in education is the culture of the school and the quality of the teachers. On the other hand, you have those saying that you can’t solve education until you solve poverty.Community schools advocates believe that this is a false debate.The “no excuses” advocates are right that a great school requires strong leadership, effective teachers and a culture of accountability, and indeed the education establishment has used students’ poverty as an excuse for too long for our failures – those who say “It’s not our fault, these kids come to school with so many problems, how can you hold us accountable for teaching them?”But it’s also true that if a school really believes that ALL children can learn, then it must have a strategy for addressing the poverty-related barriers that can stand in the way of learning. The best teacher will struggle to teach children who come to school hungry, sick, depressed, or traumatized. Or worse, who because of health or housing or other challenges are not coming to school at all.It’s not either/or. You have to have accountability. But you cannot ignore poverty. You need a strategy for addressing it.
2 min.This is not a prescriptive list. Instead it is a list of programmatic responses to identified needs of the school community. Depends on the needs of the community, resources of the community.For example, at PS 8 there is:An Early Head Start and Head Start program in the school that prepares both children AND families for Kindergarten. If children are struggling with chronic asthma, instead of going to the emergency room during an attack, they can be treated in their school-based health center. And children and their families can learn how to best manage their asthma.And parents not only can learn about their child’s new curriculum, but they can also take a GED class or a parenting class.
2 min.Community schools are also a strategy to leverage existing and new resources. They promote a more efficient use of dollars. Getting the right services to the right kids in the right place at the right time. Journal of Adolescent Health citation: Inner city students were 21 more times more likely to make mental health related visits to SBHCs than to community health centers.City Connects
2 min.We’ve talked about the results more broadly, now let’s talk about the results in one family. The Cruz Family Community schools have a powerful impact on children and families. The Cruz family, from Washington Heights, is a particularly compelling illustration of this point. Nayady Cruz, arrived to the states in the mid-90s from Santo Domingo to seek a better life. She brought with her a 3-year-old son and her husband, and she was pregnant with a second child. Her mother and father had arrived here a few years before her. No one in the family spoke English. Her husband was unemployed, and depressed as a result, and her father was also under-employed. Nayady quickly succumbed to depression. A neighbor told her that a local school, P.S. 5, had a program to help pregnant women. Nayady says that from the moment she walked into the Family Room at P.S. 5, she felt an enormous sense of support and that from that day, her life, and the life of her family, began to change. She became part of the Early Head Start Program for expecting mothers at P.S. 5, and Andy, her son was enrolled in Head Start and then PS 5, where he received access to free health care. Nayady’s mother became part of a program called “Abuelitas en Acción” (Grandmothers in Action) at the same school. Nayady overcame her depression with the help of CAS social workers onsite at the school, as well as support from Early Head Start staff and the P.S. 5 parent coordinator. She became a volunteer, and later, one of the school’s true leaders. She is, she says, “a long-life advocate of community schools and family rooms in schools.” The baby she was expecting when she first arrived, Dayanara, also a PS 5 alum, started her freshman year at SUNY this fall. Andy, her son, got a full scholarship to MIT, where he’s a junior studying to be an engineer. And her husband got a maintenance job at P.S. 5, where he has been working for over 10 years. Nayadi is now the parent coordinator at PS 5The trajectory for the next generation of the Cruz family has changed entirely, and the community schools in Washington Heights helped make that happen.
And now I’d like to introduce this amazing and expert panel. Each member brings a critical perspective to this conversation. You have in front of you their bios, so I won’t read them, but I am honored to share the stage with them. I’ll ask the panelists specific questions that they will address briefly and give other panelists the opportunity to respond. We’ll then have the opportunity to have a question and answer period. In our conversation, we’re going to focus on how we get from a series of individual, idiosyncratic, community school initiatives, to a system of community schools, where every school in NYC has a strategy for meeting the challenges children and families face that can stand in the way of learning. This cartoon exemplifies our challenge and opportunity. The college points to the high schools, the high schools point to the police, etcetera. But how do we organize all of these resources to ensure they are all aligned for student success. Clearly this can’t be done school by school. This is where the next administration comes in.Go into questions…
Every School a Community School
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
From Pilots to Scale
“Could someone help me with these?
I’m late for math class.”
CAS Developmental Triangle
Sample Program Components
After-School and Summer Enrichment
Medical, Dental, Mental Health
Community and Economic Development
A Strategy for Financing
Non-education dollars from multiple sources can
• CAS schools: approximately 2/3 public funding (e.g.,
OST, Medicaid, early childhood) and 1/3 private
Better utilization of existing services when in
schools (City Connects, Mental Health Services)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls
Community Schools “the most highly leveraged
dollars I spent in Chicago”
Results of Mature
Community School Initiatives
Improved academic performance
Improved student and teacher attendance
Reduced dropout rates and higher graduation rates
Gains in indicators of positive youth development
Greater parent involvement
NYC Models of CS
Community School Models in NYC
Beacon Schools (80)
Children’s Aid Community Schools (16)
Community Learning Schools (16)
Harlem Children’s Zone (3)
NYCDOE Transfer Schools (48)
The Graduates/Los Graduados
Featuring Chastity Salas