I. POLICY STATEMENT
The Board of Education, through this policy, affirms the belief that community schools offer the school system the optimum opportunity to focus on academics, physical, mental, and emotional health services, youth development, expanded learning opportunities, and family and community support to ensure students are ready and able to learn.
The purpose of this Policy is to provide standards for the development of community schools with the Prince George’s County Public School System to help students and families overcome the in–school and out–of–school barriers that prevent children from learning and succeeding over the course of their lives by having an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and family and community engagement.
Community Schools create positive conditions for learning in both schools and communities in partnership with families, governmental leaders and agencies, businesses, as well as nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
In PGCPS, Community Schools shall serve as an effective educational and holistic strategy to address both concentrated poverty and remove barriers to academic success, and to achieve equitable outcomes for all students.
This policy establishes the administrative responsibilities for the support and implementation of a Community Schools Strategy that provides high-quality teaching, integrated social supports, and family and community engagement in order to improve educational outcomes and the well-being of PGCPS students.
The following terms have the meanings indicated:
- Asset and Needs Assessment: A systematic process led by the CSC in partnership with school and community stakeholders to review school and community data, including academic, non-academic, quantitative, and qualitative, to determine the specific assets, needs and interests of the school community. The results of the assessment will address key challenges and measure progress of the school.
- Chair: The CSD serves as the Chair of the CSSC and develops the agenda, facilitates meetings, and serves as the liaison to the CSSC.
- Community School: A public school that establishes a set of strategic partnerships between the school and other community resources that promote student achievement, positive learning conditions, and the well-being of students, families, and the community by providing wraparound services.
- Community School Coordinator (“CSC”): An individual employed full-time by PGCPS or a lead partner through an established Memorandum of Understanding that is highly qualified and trained to facilitate the established community school framework in partnership with the school system’s CSD, their assigned school principal, administrative leadership team, staff, and larger school community. The CSC is a member of the school’s leadership team and may be provided access to student records as authorized and appropriate under federal and state law.
- Community School Director (“CSD”): An individual employed full-time by PGCPS that serves as the Central Office administrative leader for the entire listing of community schools. This position is required, but not limited, to foster collaboration between Community Schools, prepare new schools to become Community Schools, and the coordination of any necessary and appropriate training, hiring and placement, and the professional development of Community School Coordinators.
- Community School Steering Committee (“CSSC”): A public body developed to support the vision, policy, and resource alignment for the community school strategy at the district level.
- Lead Partner: A community-based organization approved by the Community School Steering Committee to co-lead with PGCPS the community school strategy at designated schools through a cost-sharing The lead partner and coordinator for a school shall be selected through input from the principal, teachers, families, and other key stakeholders.
- School-Based Strategic Plan: A comprehensive strategy facilitated by the individual school’s CSC that, in conjunction with the Board of Education’s approved Strategic Plan for the school system, seeks to remove barriers to academic success and strengthen opportunities for learning and enrichment during and beyond the school day through strategic, results-focused school- community The strategic plan is based on the school’s defined vision, addresses the results of a comprehensive needs and assets assessment and is supported by a school-based team including the community school coordinator, principal, educators and other school staff, parents, community partners, and students.
- School-Community Partnership: A partnership between a local school system or an existing public school and a community-based organization or agency for the purpose of planning and implementing a community school.
- Secretary: A member of the CSSC who records notes and votes and assists in correspondence to committee members.
- Trauma-Informed Intervention: A method for understanding and responding to an individual with symptoms of chronic interpersonal trauma or traumatic stress.
- Vice-Chair: A member of the CSSC who assists the Chair in his/her duties related to leading the committee, including developing the agenda, facilitating the meeting in the absence of the Chair, and outreach to committee members.
- Wraparound Services:
- Extended learning time, including before and after school, weekends, summer school, and an extended school year;
- Safe transportation to and from school and off-site apprenticeship programs;
- Vision and dental care services;
- Establishing or expanding school-based health center services;
- Additional social workers, mentors, counselors, psychologists, and restorative practice coaches;
- Enhancing physical wellness, including providing healthy food for in-school and out- of-school time and linkages to community providers;
- Enhancing behavioral health services, including access to mental health practitioners and providing professional development to school staff to provide trauma-informed interventions;
- Providing family and community engagement and supports, including informing parents of academic course offerings, language classes, workforce development training, opportunities for children, and available social services as well as educating families on how to monitor a child's learning;
- Establishing and enhancing linkages to Judy Centers and other early education programs that feed into the school;
- Enhancing student enrichment experiences, including educational field trips, partnerships, and programs with museums, arts organizations, and cultural institutions;
- Improving student attendance;
- Improving the learning environment at the school; and
- Any professional development for teachers and school staff to quickly identify students who are in need of these resources.
- A community school shall:
- Promote active family and community engagement, including educational opportunities for adults and family members of students at the school who live in the neighborhood of the school;
- Have a community school coordinator to coordinate support programs that address out–of–school learning barriers for students and families.
- Promote expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities provided after school, during weekends, and in the summer that emphasize mastering 21st-century skills through practical learning opportunities and community problem-solving;
- Promote collaborative leadership and practices that empower parents, students, teachers, principals, and community partners to build a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility using strategies such as site-based leadership teams and teacher learning communities;
- Have a parent teacher organization or a school family council; and
- Have a community school leadership team.
- Community School Steering Committee (CSSC) Charge, Membership and Meeting Requirements
- The CSD will serve as the Chair of the Steering Committee, and in collaboration with the school district and school board, the CSSC will make recommendations on how many schools will open each year and which schools will be approved. The CSSC will also oversee the entire PGCPS Community School Initiative and CSSC members will be selected through a nomination process.
- The CSSC will meet every other month and the CSD will provide regular reports on the progress of the Community School Initiative including, but not limited to, the number of community schools, how many were created and ended during the specific period, and objective outcomes for schools that had their status considered for renewal at the end of their Meeting notices shall be publicized on the school system website and open to the public.
- Decisions will be made by majority vote if a quorum is present. At the first meeting of the CSSC, a vice-chair and secretary will be The CSSC will provide input in the criteria for application and employment of coordinators; as well as provide substantive input in the development of the administrative procedure regarding implementation.
- There will be a total of eighteen (18) members on the CSSC. Ten (10) members shall constitute a The overall composition of the CSSC membership should reflect the rich diversity present throughout the Prince George’s County Public School System and include:
- Two (2) representatives from the Board of One being either an elected or appointed member appointed by the Board of Education;
- The Student Member of the Board or a PGCPS student selected by the Student Member to serve as the student member’s representative;
- One (1) representative from the Prince George's County Department of Social Services;
- Three (3) representatives from the Prince George's County Public Schools, including the restorative practices coordinator;
- Six (6) members from the nonprofit, business/higher education, philanthropic, faith-based, education advocacy, and/or community coalition group sectors:
- Four (4) members of the collective bargaining units that represent PGCPS employees, with at least one representative from per each unit;
- One (1) parent from the Board of Education’s Parent and Community Advisory Council, selected by simple majority vote of the council members;
- Community School Application, Selection, Professional Development, Evaluation, and Continuation Process
- Pursuant to this Board Policy, and under advisement of the CSSC, the CSD shall develop a community school application process, selection rubric, and evaluation that will assess progress made by the school particularly on the needs identified by the assets and needs assessment.
- The CSD shall also establish proper employment criteria for the CSCs and create templates for the school-based strategic plan and assets and needs
- Once approved by PGCPS to operate as a community school, the term of approval for operation shall have an effective term of five academic years with an initial evaluation after three (3) years.
V. IMPLEMENTATION RESPONSIBILITIES
- The CEO shall establish an Administrative Procedure implementing this policy
- MD Annotated Code, Education Article § 9.9-101-107
- AP 1100 - Community Schools
- Adopted 06/07/18
- Policy Amended 11/18/21 (Effective Date: 07/1/22)
About This Policy
Updated July 1, 2022