PHILADELPHIA – The Mayor’s Office of Education today released the priorities for expanded services at three of Philadelphia’s 12 Community Schools, including expanded extracurricular programs, additional health resources and more employment resources for adults and students.
The release came as Mayor Kenney participated in a roundtable discussion at one of the three schools, Samuel Gompers Elementary in the city’s Wynnefield section. The other two in the city’s second cohort of Community Schools are George Washington High School in the Northeast and Alain Locke Elementary School in West Philadelphia.
Also taking part in the roundtable discussion at Gompers were Councilman Curtis Jones, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Community School Coordinators, principals, and partners representing the schools in the second cohort, which were announced last year.
“We are proud to expand this initiative into more neighborhoods,” said Mayor Kenney. “We begin by setting priorities for each Community School to ensure that our efforts address the unique needs of that school and the surrounding community. By connecting over 6,500 students and their families with the right services in 12 schools, we are removing barriers to student learning and providing more economic opportunities to Philadelphia residents.”
Community Schools are public neighborhood schools which receive additional City supports to address school and neighborhood needs as identified by students, parents, teachers, community members and partners. The school priorities presented today are the result of months of surveys, focus groups and meetings to identify the top needs in the community.
“Every school and every neighborhood in Philadelphia is unique,” said Susan Gobreski, Community Schools Director for the City of Philadelphia. “Taking the time to conduct a thorough needs assessment and develop a set of core priorities ensures that we are truly addressing the most pressing challenges that face a school community, and complementing the efforts of the School District to support student outcomes.” Some of the common themes discovered across all or many schools include improved access to food, jobs and job training; physical, social and emotional health services; and cultural and social opportunities.
During the unveiling of the priorities at Samuel Gompers School, principals and Committee members from each of the schools were on hand to describe some of the initial programs being implemented, and future plans for Community School partnerships in each school.
“Now that we have finalized the plan for our school, we can move forward to ensure that our students have access to after-school opportunities, physical activity, and other needed resources,” said Phillip DeLuca, Principal of Samuel Gompers School. “We are excited about the next stage of the process, and fulfilling the goals we set out in our priorities.”
Any individual or business interested in partnering with a community school, donating resources, or volunteering, should contact the Community Schools team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community school priorities are published on the Mayor’s Office of Education website.