Our first two Community Schools, Leopold Elementary and Mendota Elementary, were selected in the 2016-2017 school year, providing coordinated services and supports to students and families in the schools' neighborhoods. Read the press release.
Meet our current Community Schools Resource Coordinators:
Leopold Elementary School: VACANT
Mendota Elementary School: Sonia Spencer
“Community schools have the potential to take our support for children and families in Madison to a new level. Many of our families still struggle with access to community services, but through this work, we’ll be able to integrate coordinated services into schools, where our students and families are every day,” said Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham. “When students and their families are fully supported, our students can be ready to excel in the classroom.”
What is a Community School?
Based on the Madison Community School Framework developed in 2015, Community Schools integrate programming and services that students, families and community members feel is needed — health care, academic tutoring, mentoring, food access, parent leadership opportunities and more — directly into schools, making them hubs of coordinated support.
In April 2015 the Madison Community Foundation awarded MMSD a three-year $300,000 grant to support community planning and implementation of four Community Schools. (Read the Capital Times article "Madison Community Foundation's $300,000 grant aims to make schools hubs of support.")
“Creating opportunities for all Madison families to thrive is at the heart of MMSD’s Community Schools initiative,” said Bob Sorge, president of Madison Community Foundation. “We’re excited for the Mendota and Leopold communities to lead the way forward in strengthening our schools, our neighborhoods and the next generation of Madison residents.”
Both Leopold and Mendota will have a resource coordinator tasked with planning and facilitating programs and services for families, students and the community. Each school will analyze the assets and needs of their school community in order to develop their plan for identifying and delivering services to families, students and the community.
Based on implementation at the first two schools, we hope to expand to additional schools in the future.
What are some benefits to Community Schools?
Community Schools help families access the programming and services they need by bringing many different health and human service providers and other community partners to one centralized location. Teachers and principals can help students and families by making sure they know how to get connected to the resources they need.
Students participating in the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiatives (TASCI) outperformed their peers by 32 points in math and by 19 points in reading. You can learn more about TASCI the in the video below.
Key community partners are critical to the success of Community Schools. You can learn more about the key partner role in the video below featuring the YMCA of metro Chicago.
What role can you play?
If you are interested in getting involved at Leopold or Mendota please contact the school's Resource Coordinator:
- Mendota Elementary - Sonia Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Leopold Elementary - VACANT
If you are interested in supporting Community Schools, visit the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools website.