Community Schools are growing and thriving in Baltimore! Providing technical assistance to the Initiative has become a lively aspect of our work. ACTS is been honored to have been selected by the Family League to provide a significant amount of support to the community schools initiative. Four ACTS coaches have been providing support to nine community schools sites since August; we will add several more for the remainder of the year, as well as work with two sites in the planning stage. ACTS is moving its work from trouble-shooting and start-up support towards a more comprehensive, developmental process for leadership in community schools – coordinator, principal and CBO director – as they cultivate the skills to drive the work. ACTS is all about capacity-building, guiding schools from wherever they may be to the next level of the “Four Cs”: comprehensiveness, collaboration, coherence, and commitment. We are also supporting the Family League to further refine the community schools vision and future advancement, tying the work productively to the 21st Century Schools building process and, hopefully, to a broader vision of community development simulated by school facilities planning.
In addition to site-based coaching, the Family League has contracted with ACTS to offer several professional development seminar opportunities. We will introduce our People of the Word literacy campaign in the December session, and follow up with a full seminar during the month of January. Sites that choose to participate will plan and implement the campaign during the spring and summer of 2014, as well as possibly planning for a more robust version of the campaign in SY2014-2015. We will also be providing sessions that explore community schools from a basic to more advanced level. Most exciting for the ACTS team is the session we will be providing on educational resiliency as a framework for community school development.
It’s an exciting time to be working on community schools in Baltimore, and ACTS could not be more delighted to be supporting that work.