Is the Community Engaged in your District?
Did your district partner with local community organizations in their recent RTTT plan? To garner state approval and receive funding, districts were expected to engage families and communities effectively in supporting students’ academic success; an area some would say has been weak.
Cape Henlopen School District has devoted $30,000 ($15,000 to 2 schools) to partner with Learning Link of Delaware, an organization that specializes in promoting and increasing parental and community engagement in schools. The goal is to recruit and enroll 150 students, specifically those who would best benefit from additional support through direct parental contact.
Capital School District is building on their current mentoring plan by working with the Greater Dover Committee, Connecting Generations, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters to ensure that all designated students have mentors. The district is devoting slightly over $38,000 over 3 years to build up their mentor volunteer base from 236 currently to 700 by 2014.
Colonial School District has a unique opportunity to work with the Penn Farm Partnership, through a contract with the New Castle Board of Trustees and Delaware Greenways. The project has the potential to involve 456 William Penn High School students in its first year; all in a project-based setting. The district prides this partnership as an opportunity for William Penn High School students to interact with community members, all while promoting the career opportunities in the agricultural and environmental industries, as well as business and finance. The district predicts the Penn Farm Partnership will extend to K-8 students in the near future.
Milford School District will hire a site coordinator at Milford Central Academy through Communities in Schools of Delaware to focus on dropout prevention. The coordinator will work with 8th and 9th graders to meet specific students’ needs through relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to provide resources. The coordinator also will work with the local mentoring coordinator to expand the number of mentors available for low-achieving students.
These examples show a varied approach to incorporating communities within each district; check back to see which districts placed an emphasis on family engagement within their RTTT goals.