Tagged “Community Schools”

This Institute for Learning Knows What it Means to Engage the Community

Segue Institute for Learning, Central Falls, Rhode Island

Segue Institute for Learning received the 2014 Rhode Island ASCD Whole Child Award for its work to engage the community in all aspects of its programs. The school has exemplified what it means to engage the community by embracing the involvement of its community partners and families to help support their students. Furthermore, they support their students through student driven advisories that revolve around culturally competent and engaging activities. Curriculum is geared toward success in high school and includes service learning, performance based assessment and portfolios. In addition, the health education curriculum includes social/emotional dimensions. Congratulations Segue Institute for Learning for this great honor!

Empowerment Strategies Show Students How to Lead

Bowden Brompton Community School, Brompton, South Australia, Australia

Principals Australia Institute, a whole child partner, has designated Bowden Brompton Community School as a MindMatters school. Located in Brompton, Australia, Bowden Brompton provides educational and emotional support for students who require a nontraditional learning environment. The school emphasizes leadership and empathy through anti-bullying strategies and empowerment programs, such as MindMatters’ Youth Empowerment Process (YEP). Bowden Brompton has seen considerable improvements in attendance, focus, and literacy since the school began implementing MindMatters techniques.

School Grows as a Caring School Community

Bowles Elementary School, Fenton, Mo.

Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Bowles Elementary School was one of the first schools in the Rockwood School District to pilot the Caring School Community model. Over the past seven years, it has moved from a "trait of the month" approach to a deeper, more comprehensive approach tied to curriculum and content. While Bowles' socioeconomic status is the second lowest in Rockwood, this Title I school continues to strive to be among the highest achieving of the 19 elementary schools in the district. Former principal Dave Cobb describes Bowles as a caring community that places a priority on building relationships. "Without relationships, we believe that strong character cannot be achieved." Building relationships is challenging, given the school’s ever-shifting demographics. But that diversity and student mobility has "challenged us to do out-of-the-box thinking," according to Cobb. "We literally have to do whatever it takes." Despite demographic changes, Cobb notes that Bowles has been able to maintain parental support and good test scores.

Supporting Disengaged Youth In and Beyond School

Albury Wodonga Community College, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Albury Wodonga Community College is an independent school for disengaged youth who face multiple barriers to learning and engagement in school. Since opening in 2006, the school has realized that it needs to provide both school and community level support for its students. The school is not solely focused on helping students finish school, but given the high number of students with mental health issues, is also committed to providing students with the knowledge and resources they require to cope with their issues. This includes knowledge of local support agencies and referral and links with community partners. Many students leave the school with the capacity to identify when they need support and know how to access it.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Albury Wodonga Community College has increased opportunities for students to successfully re-engage with education, established alternative pathways for student success, provided programs for young mothers, built facilities to assist with engagement with and connectedness to the school, and created stronger and more efficient community partnerships to support off-site classes along with a case worker to follow up with those students with extensive needs.

Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Student Body

Coombabah State High School, Coombabah, Queensland, Australia

Coombabah State High School was established in 1986 as the community high school for the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast, serving students from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The student population has a high degree of mobility and this transient factor contributes to the increasing challenge for teachers to provide challenging and meaningful learning opportunities—at least 30 per cent of the student body is new to the school each year. The school offers many vocational education subjects ranging from hospitality, business, child care, multimedia, and health, to community and recreation. Students can also select from a vast range of academic subjects.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Coombabah State High School has been able to develop a supportive environment for all students and staff. For example, all year 8 teachers meet with student support teams, the head of the middle school, and outside personnel, including a mental health expert to identify at-risk students. Teachers are trained to quickly identify students who they feel are experiencing difficulties in the classroom in relation to coping skills, content, and social issues. The students are then interviewed and individual programs are developed to assist in the areas of concern.

School Serves as Community Hub

Roy Clark Elementary School, Tulsa, Okla.

Known as the hub of the community, Roy Clark Elementary School, in Tulsa, Okla., is the epitome of a community school that focuses not simply on the academic performance of their students, but also on individual lifestyles.

Examples of its commitment to student overall well-being are evident: Roy Clark Elementary School showed an incredible jump from 68 to 100 percent participation in parent-teacher conferences and an astounding increase—from 25 to 100 percent—in the number of students eating breakfast.

As a recipient of the 2011 National Community Schools Award for Excellence from whole child partner the Coalition for Community Schools, Roy Clark Elementary is using its community resources from more than 30 partners to create a truly outstanding environment that positively affects students.

Diversity is School’s Strength

Glencliff High School, Nashville, Tenn.

"Our diversity is our strength" is the mantra that rings throughout Glencliff High School, a recipient of whole child partner Coalition for Community Schools' 2011 National Community Schools Award for Excellence. Representing more than 40 different countries and nationalities within its student body, Glencliff is the most diverse high school in the state of Tennessee.

Thanks to strong support from business and community partnerships as well as the school's drive to promote student learning, Glencliff High School has the largest number of dual-enrollment students in all of Nashville. Students' scores on writing assessments have skyrocketed from 58 to 93 percent proficient or advanced. More than 80 percent of students feel that the school climate has improved because of the partnerships. Based on Glencliff High School's inspiring work, its school climate will only get better.

Community School Provides Easy Access to Host of Services

Ethel M. Taylor Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio

A recipient of the 2011 National Community Schools Award for Excellence from whole child partner the Coalition for Community Schools, Ethel M. Taylor Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the true spotlight of its community.

Focused on strengthening the seamless integration of academic and nonacademic partnerships, the school provides easy access to a host of services through its Community Learning Center, where partners and community and family members are able to play a vital role in students' success. Forty-two percent more of students are scoring proficient or higher on the Ohio Achievement Assessment, and community volunteers have increased by over 100 percent—a true testament to the excellence in academics and infectious dedication Ethel M. Taylor Academy inspires.

Oakland Transforms into a Full-Service Community School District

Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, Calif.

Committed to fulfilling the vision of having all students graduate from high school, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has started a four-phase effort to transition into a full-service community school district that supports the unique needs of each child.

Determined to see that each student is in a safe, healthy, and supportive school with high-quality and effective instruction and prepared for success in college and future employment, California's OUSD believes that it is 100 percent necessary to have a high-quality instructional core, as well as student and family support services accessible to all students. The growing community-wide culture of a shared purpose and relational accountability has also helped promote the creation of a five-year strategic plan to reach these goals.

Named the most improved urban school district in California, OUSD will continue to make incredible strides in its mission to transform the district into one that truly serves the whole child.

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