Creating a Full Service Community School District
A New Strategic Direction for the District.
Over the next five years, the Oakland Unified School District and the City of Oakland plan to develop full-service community schools across the city thereby creating a full service community school district. The school district will use the four Promise Neighborhoods as pilots for this new approach. To learn more about the district's strategic direction, please click here.
What are Full Service Community Schools?
“A Community School is a public school that integrates the best educational practices with a wide range of vital in-house health and social services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn. Community schools also strengthen families and communities so they are better able to support student success. A Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school, a lead agency, and other community resources.
In an ideal community school:
Before- and after-school programs build on classroom experiences and help students expand their horizons, contribute to their communities and have fun.
Family support centers strengthen parent involvement, parent education and leadership development, and provide crisis assistance, child care and housing assistance;
Medical, dental and mental health services are readily available
Parents and community residents participate in adult education and job training programs.
The school sees community as a resource for its curriculum, engages students in active learning and service, and helps them become problem solvers in their communities.
The community uses the schools as a center for community problem solving.
Volunteers support young people's academic, interpersonal and career”
-- From Overview: Healthy Start and the Community School Approach, Hatchuel Tabernik & Associates
While the Department of Education Budget for 2010 includes no additional funding available to support the creation of “Full Service Community Schools,” beyond the continuation of existing grants, the Department of Education has stipulated that Title 1 funding can be used for certain aspects of the implementation of a community schools model including:
- hiring a coordinator to facilitate the delivery of health, nutrition, and social services to the school’s students in partnership with a local service provider
- professional development necessary to assist teachers, pupil services personnel, other staff, and parents in identifying and meeting the comprehensive needs of students
- instructionally related activities such as paying a classroom teacher to be available in the evenings as part of a homework-support program
- if the LEA has exhausted all other reasonably available sources of funding for the following activities:
- the provision of basic medical equipment, such as eyeglasses and hearing aids.
- fund a family literacy program for parents who need to improve their literacy skills in order to support their children’s learning