One of best ways to turnaround a struggling school is to transform it into a "community school," a hub for all types of wraparound supports from medical services and tutoring for students to English language classes and job training for parents. In New York City, advocates and organizers have rallied around the idea of community schools and called for the city to expand the few programs that already exist. It looks like they're about to get their wish:
From Chalkbeat New York:
"The city will spend $52 million in state funds over several years to convert 40 schools into community hubs with medical and dental services, nutrition and fitness programs, tutoring, job training, and other assistance for students and their families, officials announced Tuesday, roughly doubling the current number of such school-based hubs.
That first wave of schools will grow to 100 by 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised, as he joins policymakers around the country in seeking to boost student learning partly by attending to their needs beyond the classroom. The concept — which has been embraced by teachers unions, parent advocates, Governor Cuomo and President Obama — holds that when schools expand into service hubs, students become better prepared to learn, parents grow more invested in schools, and teachers can focus on teaching."
In May, advocates and organizers in New York City rallied for community schools as part of a national day of action with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. Check out video from the event below. And check out the Coalition for Community Schools to learn more about what community schools do and the dozens of cities nationwide that are using them successfully.