A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Community schools offer a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results: Children are ready to enter school; students attend school consistently; students are actively involved in learning and their community; families are increasingly involved with their children's education; schools are engaged with families and communities; students succeed academically; students are healthy - physically, socially, and emotionally; students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment, and communities are desirable places to live.
In June, 2022, more than 80 Schenectady community organizations and agencies came together to learn about community schools and how they can partner with our district in this work. Leaders from many different sectors and corners of our community who are not only interested but are willing to commit to partnering with us to build community schools.
A collaborative community-wide approach serves to remove barriers and provides accessibility to resources and supports that our students and families need from health, food, clothing, well-being and childcare to transportation, social service and legal support. If we want to transform our education system so that all students are successful, we can’t work in isolation. These community conversations are the first steps toward building school communities that will help our students, families and the community thrive. As our next step, we are forming an advisory council which will include members from throughout the community. Watch for more on community schools in Schenectady soon.
Community School Coordinators
Our Community School Coordinators are Kayla Ambesi and Ryan Williams. As community school coordinators, they have an important role in both the development of our community schools and in advancing the community school strategy which is to ensure that our students have the resources, opportunities, and support that make academic success possible and create strong ties among families students, schools and the Schenectady community. Their work is about creating, strengthening and maintaining the bridge between the school and community. They are critical to successful implementation.
It's important that we help others understand the role of our community school coordinators and that, as a community, we commit to working together to accomplish a shared vision of improved outcomes for our young people. Thank you Kayla and Ryan for your commitment and dedication. We are on our way.
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