If you are interested in applying for one of the middle school Community School Coordinator positions currently available at Callanan, Goodrell or Weeks, please visit our jobs page for more information and to apply online.

DMPS Community School Coordinator Jill Padgett got some big news recently.

“I’m excited to share that we received a federal grant, our first, for our full service community schools work,” she said. “This will enable expansion into three middle schools and the addition of a coordinator at Central Campus. The collective investment is $2.5 million over the next five years.”

The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Education.

Callanan, Goodrell and Weeks will be the new middle school sites, the first ones at that level, bringing the community school cohort total to 18 districtwide.

“Our ability to expand our DMPS Community Schools work to build meaningful partnerships between families, schools and the community leads to improved student learning, thriving families and vibrant neighborhoods,” added Allyson Vukovich, Director of Community Schools at DMPS. “This work supports our District’s Equity Vision and moves us one step closer to becoming the model for urban education in the United States.”

According to the grant work plan, the proposed expansion will complete three elementary, middle, and high school feeder patterns and result in a continuum of pipeline services and supports for students as they progress through DMPS. The fourth site expansion will transform Central Campus, the district’s career training hub for secondary students, into a full service community school.”

The grant proposal was successful due to the hard work of the proposal development team. In addition to Padgett and Vukovich, the team included grants specialist Lori Brenno, grants manager Kevin Oleson, and assessment specialist David Roney.

To understand the difference between a regular school and a full service community school, think of students as vehicles. All district schools are places where they can fill their tanks with fuels; food for mind and body. But full service schools provide additional supports for students AND families in the general categories of basic needs (food, shelter, school supplies), on-site health services, neighborhood/community engagement, student enrichment programs beyond the school day and social supports. They’re more like educational equivalents of old-fashioned “filling stations” where the whole car got serviced; oil changes, new tires, dented fenders, etc.

More specifically, the Community Schools initiative at DMPS operates around four key pillars:

  1. Integrated student supports: Through a tiered system of support, ensuring each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged, and challenged.
  2. Family and community engagement: Embraces families, neighborhoods, and communities as assets and mobilizes assets towards school and community improvement.
  3. Out of school time learning and opportunities: Programs and activities that provide additional academic support, enrichment, connection to real world learning, and service learning.
  4. Collaborative leadership and practice: Shared ownership and shared accountability among schools, families, and communities.

Padgett’s e-mail disclosing the grant award and explaining how it will be used included an attachment with a detailed work plan.

“Does this help?” she asked.

It is sure to help a great deal.

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