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Board of Education Endorses Expansion of Community Schools As Hubs of Student and Family Opportunities (07-09-20)


CONTACT:                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289                          July 9, 2020


Board of Education Endorses Expansion of Community Schools
As Hubs of Student and Family Opportunities


LOS ANGELES (July 9, 2020) – The Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution today to support the expansion of community schools, which have become a model for improving student outcomes and engaging families by establishing campuses as neighborhood hubs for children, families, school staff and civic partners.

The resolution was authored by Board Member Jackie Goldberg and co-sponsored by Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic and Board Members Scott M. Schmerelson, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez. It calls for Los Angeles Unified to create a five-year plan for expanding the Community Schools Initiative, which was launched last year with a cohort of 17 schools. The initiative includes providing school-based social service supports, expanded academic and enrichment opportunities, family and community engagement options and shared decision-making among local stakeholders.

“Now more than ever we must see our communities as assets, and that learning can happen beyond the four walls of a classroom,” Board Member Goldberg said. “I am encouraged by the successes of the first cohort of community schools, which have deepened the engagement of families, created true collaboration among staff and begun to explore their communities to see what additional opportunities they can provide.”

“Schools are at the center of the community they serve,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “All of our efforts should be built on empowering grassroots efforts to help improve public education.”

“I am happy to be a co-sponsor and support this resolution,” Board President Dr. Vladovic said. “93rd Street Elementary in my Board District is a perfect example of how a community school is a great vehicle to address the needs of the whole child.”

“Our students who attend Los Angeles Unified schools in under-resourced communities need and deserve public schools that offer rich educational opportunities, as well as a broad range of social service supports and shared decision-making,” Board Member Schmerelson said. “Community schools are designed to be the vibrant heart and center of neighborhoods that greatly benefit our students and their families, while creating safe and welcoming campuses that will become valuable assets for our local communities. I am proud to support this investment!" 

“I’m excited about the prospect of putting more resources into classrooms and investing more in the core pillars of student support, expanded and enriched learning time, active parent and community engagement, and collaborative leadership,” Board Member Melvoin said. “I look forward to gaining a better understanding of how we can learn from our initial pilots to replicate the successful elements of the community school model.”

"Now, more than ever, we have seen how our schools are the heart of the community,” Board Member Gonez said. “Community schools are spaces that empower families, students, teachers and staff to meet the needs of the whole child and respond to the unique needs of their community. I look forward to this opportunity to expand and deepen our commitment to this important effort."

“Schools work best when all members of our community support the public benefit that is public education,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “All of us have a role to play in building the best learning environment for our students.”

“We are inspired by the community schools movement that has transformed the experience of learning and leading for over a decade,” Board Member Mónica García said. “Empowering teachers and parents is essential and we will continue to support the innovation in pilot schools, linked learning schools, themed schools, neighborhood schools and beyond!”