California is leading the nation by investing in schools to make them centers of wellness in their communities. A Community School is an evidence-based school transformation model that has a whole-child and family mindset to remove barriers to learning, emotional and physical wellness, and on-time graduation. Common barriers are absences from school, housing instability, mental health challenges, and lack of family and community partnerships.
A Community School builds on the Four Pillars of a Community School to promote the resilience of the community and offers integrated support services, shared leadership with youth, staff, and families, increasing family engagement, and extended learning opportunities. When a student is struggling, staff in a Community School ask "what does this student need to be successful?" instead of "what is wrong with this student"?
All schools in FCUSD are invited to use the Community Schools framework to develop an integrated system of student support. High-need schools are encouraged to apply for CCSPP grants to provide additional support services for young people and families. All Rancho Cordova schools are part of our Community Schools system of support.
The transformational change to become a Community School is based on a shift in mindset, not a grant. Any school can embrace this strengths-based approach to education. The California legislature prioritized schools with 80% low income, emergent bilingual, homeless and foster youth (aka UPP or Unduplicated Pupil Percentage) for state funding. In May 2023, the schools below received five-year grants from the California Department of Education to support this transformation. Each school will have a full-time staff person designated to oversee implementation of the California Community Schools Framework. We will apply for funding for our other Title 1 schools in the Winter/Spring of 2024.
- Cordova Meadows Elementary
- Cordova Villa Elementary
- Mills Middle School
- Kinney High School
- Williamson Elementary
- White Rock Elementary
Community Schools are not "one more thing" or a short-term initiative. Becoming a Community School is equity-focused and ties together all school and district initiatives into a sustainable, student-centered safety net. It is the lens through which we operate our schools based on the needs of each community. This video shows FCUSD's vision for the Community Schools initiative in our district.
Questions? Contact the Strategic Initiatives Dept. at (916) 294-9000 x104660.
Carla Davis, Community Schools Coordinator