PHILADELPHIA – The City’s Office of Children and Families today announced that students and families at nine School District of Philadelphia schools will begin receiving expanded social and health services.
The nine are among 17 public schools designated by the City as Community Schools. Community Schools are supported by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
Families at the nine schools, which serve 5,700 students, will receive the additional support through the creation of case management teams at each of the schools. Each team will consist of a supervisor and two case managers.
“The addition of Case Management teams at these schools will ensure equitable access to Community School services,” said Maxwell Akuamoah-Boateng, the Director of Operations for the City’s Community Schools program.
“Working with Community School Coordinators and school leadership, the teams will conduct regular home visitations, family forums and provide additional case management services, including funding for needed resources like food and utilities.”
The Community Schools that will receive these services are:
- Alexander K. McClure School
- Hamilton Disston School
- John H. Webster School
- Richard Wright School
- Overbrook Educational Center
- Samuel Gompers School
- George Washington High School
- Kensington Health Sciences Academy
- Murrell Dobbins CTE High School
“Expanded case management at these schools will ensure greater household stability for many of our families,” said Cynthia Figueroa, Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families. “That stability, in turn, results in students attending school more regularly and succeeding academically. I’m pleased we can expand the Community School services in this way, especially in the midst of a pandemic, when many families are vulnerable.”
“Community Schools are a great example of what happens when the City works collaboratively with us to support our students,” said William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. “The challenges faced by families outside of the school building have a large impact on children’s social-emotional development and academic achievement. These additional supports will help eliminate non-academic barriers to success for hundreds of our students and these nine schools, and set them up on a stronger path forward.”
The remaining eight Community Schools currently provide similar services through their Support Team for Education Project (STEP) teams in place. The STEP program is a jointly-funded partnership between various partners including the School District, Drexel University, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities (DBHIDS)/Community Behavioral Health (CBH), and the Office of Children and Families’ Department of Human Services (DHS).
About Community Schools
Community Schools are a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, and school communities to remove barriers to learning and support the success of each student.
The long-term goal of Community Schools is to ensure that every student graduates college-, career-, and community-ready. They also strive to ensure that communities are healthy, safe, hopeful, and supportive.
Community School Coordinators are the key to Community Schools. Coordinators create, strengthen, and maintain the bridge between the school and community. In each Community School, a Community School Coordinator supports strategic partnerships and programs that promote wellness, stability, and learning opportunities for students, families, and neighbors.