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Re: Community Schools

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  • tag1022
    Apparently the legislation is already passed. The commitment required to create a program like a community school is immense, and funding it with these short
    Message 1 of 34 , Nov 30, 2009
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      Apparently the legislation is already passed. The commitment required to create a program like a community school is immense, and funding it with these short lived sources can be harrowing. Anybody who works on grant money can attest to that.

      How can we maintain programs like Ellerhorst? They already put the muscle in and have their programs going. We can pursue funds like this, which would hopefully require minimal contortion from the schools. Federal grants management can be very restrictive, but we should be pushing for every dollar we can get.

      We need to be calling Miller and Garamendi demanding adequate support for this district. Miller's NCLB has made our conditions marginally worse since it's passage, and the pain has just begun. Federal funds are usually small carrot and huge stick. We need unfettered assistance ASAP.

      The district could also bring non governmental funders' attention to programs and communities that are "shovel ready" like Ellerhorst. The district attracts more attention than any single site could. They could direct willing funders to projects in need. In fact, they should be doing this already. The district could compile school site wish lists for their development priorities. Plenty of crossover must exist, so economies of scale are likely.

      The district needs to liberate sites to do best by their communities. We all know this, so why doesn't it happen? To manage in this problem-plagued community, one needs thick skin or a thick skull. It's often difficult to distinguish the two. I have no doubt that our administration's hearts are in the right place. It's where their heads are firmly lodged that bothers me. We need agile leadership to get us through the next few years. Show us a sign that we have it.

      Todd Groves



      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Charles Cowens <charley.cowens@...> wrote:
      >
      > Isn't the positive value here that the local site council is deciding
      > how to spend the money? If the money (when it existed) were unrestricted
      > and under the site council, you would have even more leeway to spend it.
      > Part of the problem with categoricals is that they have more red tape
      > associated with them, which always creates pressure to roll them up to
      > the district where the red-tape experts can handle them.
      >
      > Charley Cowens
      >
      > Ramosla@... wrote:
      > > That is what was good about Categorical funds at the School Site, we
      > > could use these funds as the SSC saw fit to enhance the learning
      > > experience for all children and to address the needs of other students
      > > who needed more or different ways to learn. At Ellerhorst we were able
      > > to bring Math tutors, Reading Intervention, and even Writing Invention
      > > for the upper grades. We could do Adult Education programs at night to
      > > help parents help their children, bring in special assemblies,
      > > equipment, etc. The loss of these funds will have not only an
      > > immediate impact but also a long term one as well. At our school we
      > > would love to bring After-School Homework help but the PTA can not
      > > afford it and we do not get any "extra" funding for such programs from
      > > the District. Our After-School Program is enrichment and is partly
      > > subsidized by the PTA and the student's parents cover the rest of the
      > > costs. You would not believe how expensive it is to run these programs
      > > just to meet the District's demands, to be sure we are within the PTA
      > > insurance coverage and still we get programs pulled at the last minute
      > > by Downtown because they have an issue with the class because 10 years
      > > ago some other school had a similar class and someone got hurt or
      > > cheated out of their money. You would think that the District would
      > > support and encourage After-School Programs at all schools but instead
      > > they have employees who, and I am not exaggerating, yell at parent
      > > volunteers, all the while reminding you that they were once PTA members
      > > and volunteers themselves. Ugh!
      > >
      > > Laura
      > >
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Charles Cowens <charley.cowens@...>
      > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Mon, Nov 30, 2009 5:29 pm
      > > Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Community Schools
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > This is an old idea. It makes sense in many circumstances to treat the
      > > schools as community sites for providing broader services, so just do
      > > it. I am concerned about the possibility of turning this into a uniform
      > > Federal program to be crammed down everyone's throat. Yet another
      > > restricted fund program with a lot of strings attached is not solving
      > > the main problem. (It makes it worse by having the restricted funds
      > > counted as part of the overall support for education.) What schools
      > > need
      > > is unrestricted general funds to spend on education. Also keep in mind
      > > that the "community" in this phrase doesn't mean community-controlled
      > > but just community-services-providing.
      > >
      > > Charley Cowens
      > >
      > > Todd Groves wrote:
      > >> Someone sent this. Is this an option for some of our schools.
      > > Apparently federal money will be available for them.
      > >> http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/10/community_schools.html
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> ------------------------------------
      > >>
      > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------------
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • tag1022
      Jason, Could a group like the Ed Fund facilitate schools in creating site development plans? Site Plans are supposed to work that way, but in reality rarely
      Message 34 of 34 , Dec 3, 2009
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        Jason,

        Could a group like the Ed Fund facilitate schools in creating site development plans? Site Plans are supposed to work that way, but in reality rarely do. Maybe we should figure out why?

        Schools wanting to find funding could undertake assessment and prioritization of community needs. The facilitating group would relieve the school of the burden of finding funds. It could be a dating service model between schools and funding sources.

        If such a group could consolidate shared needs, we could target larger funding sources like foundations and the Feds. Is this happening already? We could also train volunteers from participating schools in assessment and project proposal development.

        I share your opinion that we are thin in capacity. If we could create some kind of joint task force between PTSA's, SSC's, Ed Fund and the district dedicated to fund raising for site-based initiatives, we might have better leverage of effort.

        Todd Groves


        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Jason Freeman <jason.freeman@...> wrote:
        >
        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/post;_ylc=X3oDMTJzbm9iYXByBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE1BGdycElkAzEwMTc4MTY3BGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTk0NjU5MARtc2dJZAMxMTc5OARzZWMDZG1zZwRzbGsDcnBseQRzdGltZQMxMjU5NjU2OTg4?act=reply&messageNum=11798>There
        > are already several Community Schools efforts within the district. I
        > believe Helms Middle School has this type of initiative, and the Building
        > Blocks for Kids efforts in Richmond fit under a broad definition of
        > Community Schools as well. It would be great for these sites to access the
        > new (and existing) sources of funding. I expect that they are working on
        > it, but I also know that the district has such a bare bones staff that they
        > cannot always focus on longer-term opportunities. That seems like something
        > that we as community members and volunteers can support, if we know where
        > the help would be wanted.
        >
        > -Jaon
        > --
        > Jason Freeman
        > jason.freeman@...
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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