Community schools are hubs of academic learning, healthy child development, and neighborhood cohesion. Together, schools and various public and private partners provide comprehensive and coordinated academic, social, mental, physical, and vocational programs/services for students, families, and the community. The best Community School models combine school-based and -linked services to maximize family, school, and community resources. Community school approaches have been shown to produce positive school- and student-level outcomes (Blank et al., 2003)
Canyons School District’s five Title I elementary schools: Copperview, East Midvale, Midvale, Midvalley, and Sandy are Community Schools. Midvale Middle, Mt Jordan Middle, Union Middle, Hillcrest High, and Diamond Ridge High have also been designated as Community Schools. Using the community Collaboration Model for School Improvement (CSSMI: Anderson-Butcher et al., 2008), CSD’s Community School Initiative prioritized five pillars. These include: academics, parent/family engagement, youth development, health and social services, and community partnerships. Example strategies in each pillar are described below:
After-school tutoring programs targeting students with the greatest needs in reading and math; Before and After school enrichment programs, Enhanced curriculum-based instruction in classrooms, English-Language Learners programs.
GED Classes, English Language Learning Classes, Enhanced parent/teacher conferences, Family Nights, Parent Volunteerism.
Classroom social skills interventions, Recess Interventions, Before and After School Programs, Behavioral Incentive Programs, Improved Multi-tiered System of Supports/Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports.
School-based behavioral mental health, local food bank partnerships, linkages to medical, vision, and dental clinics, CARE/SST wraparound teams that problem-solve challenging student/family needs.
Business partnerships, community gardens, SB67 Midvale Partnerships for Student Success, Community-wide councils focused on city-wide planning.
Partners involved in the CSD Community Schools include key organizations such as Valley Behavioral Health, Hopeful Beginnings, PlayWorks, United Way of Salt Lake, Midvale City, Savage Industries, Utah Partners for Health, Eye Care for Kids, Community Nursing Services, UPD, Utah Food Bank, Utah Afterschool Network, International Rescue Committee, University of Utah as well as a variety of others.
- 260 youth, on average, are served in afterschool tutoring each year
- 818 youth, on average, involved in the extended learning program each year
- Over 700 students are involved in Care/SST Team supports each year
- Over 150 youth are served each year in pre-kindergarten classrooms
- 600 students, on average, are linked to medical, dental, and vision services each year
- Each month over 1,600 students and families are provided foot stability supports including mobile food pantries & weekend backpacks
- Over 19,000 hours of volunteer time is provided by families, businesses, and community partners
Parents/caregivers also were involved in new opportunities (such as GED programs, English-Language Learners classes, and computer classes). In addition, parent volunteerism has exploded at the Community Schools. System-wide improvements also have been made, in areas such as enhanced school improvement planning, improved data systems, strengthened identification, linkage and referral systems, and expanded professional development for teachers/staff/partners.
To learn more about CSD’s Community Schools Initiative, please contact Michele Vogeler at (801) 826-5023 or firstname.lastname@example.org.