At Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School on Monday, September 25, officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools announced Family Services of NW PA has been confirmed as the lead partner in the community schools initiative at that location.
In the community school model, community-based organizations serve as Lead Partners, helping to mobilize community assets and coordinate resources, in cooperation with school staff. Each school’s Lead Partner employs a Director who works in close relationship with the principal and the community school Leadership Team. Community School Director, Meghan Easter, has been in place since August 2016. In addition to a Director and Lead Partner, each community school has a Corporate Partner who provides financial support in addition to employee engagement with the school through volunteer service. The Corporate Partner at Pfeiffer-Burleigh is Erie Insurance. United Way has served as interim Lead Partner while the process for identifying a permanent organization was completed.
● Employ the Community school coordinator/director
● Commit to financial, resource, emotional and collegial support of this collaborative work.
● Connect specifically to the initiative and particular schools through a formal memorandum of agreement.
● Often employ additional staffing to support the work in Community schools.
The Lead Partner of a United Way community school is an entity whose vision and mission matches that of the community school model and can point to specific services and strategies in their resource pool that will enhance opportunities for students and families to learn and be successful.
Steve Minick, Vice President of Programs said, “Family Services of NW PA is committed to our mission of strengthening families and transforming lives. Real transformation requires commitment and collaboration to impact student success. Partnering with United Way, Erie’s Public Schools, Erie Insurance and other community partners to transform the families and neighborhoods around Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School is a wonderful way for us to further our mission!”
The community school model is a strategy for organizing school and community resources around student success. A community school is both a place and set of partnerships that help address health, wellness and the social needs of students and their families. The goals of community schools are to address non-academic barriers to learning and increase community engagement in the success of the school.
Why they say community schools work:
● Engaged school district leadership
● School principal leading the vision and process at each site
● Community school Director, employed by a community-based organization or institution of higher education, working full-time in the school with funding support from Corporate Partners
● Site-based leadership team comprising parents, educators, community and business partners
● Facility access before, during and beyond school hours This is another milestone in the scaling-up of this transformational student success initiative. United Way in collaboration with community and funding partners looks forward to transforming additional public schools throughout Erie County into community schools in the future.
About Erie’s Public Schools
The Erie School District will create in its schools, and in its relationship with the Erie community, a culture of high expectations, collaboration, respect, and accountability. We will actively engage students in their learning through a high-quality curriculum and excellent teaching. Our primary purpose as an organization is to prepare our students to establish and achieve their higher education and career goals. www.ErieSD.org About United Way of Erie County On behalf of the residents of Erie County, United Way brings the community together to provide resources that help people in need or at risk solve their problems. www.UnitedWayErie.org.
About Family Services of NW PA
Family Services of NW PA is dedicated to strengthening families and transforming lives. Services are available to individuals and families in Erie, Crawford, Mercer, McKean and Venango counties. www.FSNWPA.org.
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