Working with businesses, foundations, and local agencies, Union Public Schools plays an integral part in the well-being of children and their families, offering Community Schools which provide enrichment and unique support opportunities. Community Schools
serve as neighborhood centers, improving the quality of life for students, families, and surrounding areas.
Union believes that students whose families have access to proper health care, counseling services and other programs will be much more successful in their educational endeavors.
Clark Elementary School, 3656 S. 103rd E. Ave., and Rosa Parks Elementary School, 13702 E. 46th Place South, have been designated full-service community schools
. Located at both Clark and Rosa Parks is a school-based health clinic, which provides on-site health care needs. Both schools serve as hubs which also provide services for Briarglen, Boevers, Grove and McAuliffe schools. The 6th/7th Grade Center is also a Community School.
The impetus behind community schools is to provide greater equity for lower income students within the school district.
Clark and Rosa Parks offer families comprehensive health care in school-based clinics to ensure children can thrive in school. Dental services, counseling from mental health agencies, and after-school and summer programs will continue to provide structure and exposure to academics and activities that will provide students a chance to develop skills, abilities and interests that might carry over to engagement in school.
The Community Schools concept is organized and supported through the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative community-wide partnership and delivered at participating neighborhood elementary schools in the Union and Tulsa public school districts as part of an initiative of Tulsa's Metropolitan Human Services Commission
, with coordination and support provided by the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa
A community school:
- Unites academics with families, school, and community to create a web of support that nurtures the development of children and adults.
- Is both a place and a network of supportive partnerships between the school and the community, promoting improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.
- Is uniquely equipped to enhance the learning environment of schools by providing opportunities that improve students’ success and build a community prepared for the 21st century.
Core components of a community school
- Positive early childhood care and development
- Health / health education
- Mental health / social services
- Family / community engagement
- Youth development / out-of-school time
- Neighborhood development
- Lifelong learning
The funding for the programs including salaries for the community school coordinators at Roy Clark and Rosa Parks comes from school partners, grants, private donors, state money, school fundraisers, Family & Children's Services
and the Mayor's Mentoring Program.
Union began laying the foundation for the creation of multiple community schools. Announced in the summer of 2006, the initiative was an effort to bring in community and agency partners to lower socioeconomic level students to provide greater equity. In addition to the Oklahoma Bedlam Alliance for Health clinics, Union students at designated schools have access to mobile dental programs.
Counseling services from mental health agencies and after-school and summer programs such as Catch Camp, a partnership with the YMCA, provide structure and exposure to academics and activities that will provide students a chance to develop skills, abilities and interests that might carry over to engagement in school.
Beginning in the summer of 2005, Grove Elementary School started helping young mothers graduate from Union High School by providing a room for their babies in an infant care program. Under the program, High School students drop their babies off at
7 a.m. and pick them up around 3 p.m. This arrangement enables students to attend classes and get their degree and graduate with their class. Community Action Project operates this program and rents a classroom from Union. A certified teacher and two assistants tend to the infants while their mothers are in class. The program runs on the same calendar program as Union Public Schools. The infant care program has since expanded to include Cedar Ridge and Rosa Parks schools. In cooperation with the Community Action Project
, Union has since expanded its services and is offering services for early child education
Center for Community Schools Strategies Vision
The Center for Community School Strategies is a program of the Community Service Council. We envision a time when community schools serve as centers of community life, offering comprehensive programs, services, and opportunities to students, families, and the neighboring community.
Sustained by family, school, and community partnerships, community schools provide nurturing environments and enriching opportunities which promote successful learning.
With the support of community schools, every student will graduate from high school with a complete education, equipped with the academic, physical, social, and emotional skills needed to achieve success and continued active involvement in the community.
Center for Community Schools Strategies Mission
We believe ...
- Children and youth are our most precious resources.
- All children can learn.
- A community school improves student learning and promotes family engagement with students and their school.
- All families deserve access to guidance, support, and resources, as they are the primary nurturers, educators, and advocates for their children.
- Families, schools, and communities must work together to create safe and secure environments in which all young people can succeed.
- Community partnerships increase opportunities available for student and family learning.
- Public, private, and faith-based community organizations and businesses play a vital role in promoting positive youth development and capable families.
- Community schools add vitality and stability to neighborhood communities.
- Diversity is an asset to be valued and respected.
- Strong and innovative leadership is necessary for long-term planning and sustainability.
- A community school is strengthened by a system of accountability, evaluation, and continuous process improvement.
- The best outcomes for students will be realized when these conditions for learning are in place:
The school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, and high standards and expectations for students. Students are motivated and engaged in learning--both in school and in community settings, during and after school. The basic physical, mental, and emotional health needs of young people and their families are recognized and addressed.
Mutual respect and effective collaboration exist among parents, families, and school staff. Community engagement and school efforts promote a school climate that is safe, supportive, and respectful, and connects students to a broader learning community. Early childhood development is fostered through high-quality, comprehensive programs that nurture learning and development.
Caption information for the photos in the gallery below:
In first photo: from left: Paige Whalen, Center Program Manager; Kelly Kruggel, Center Organizational Manager; Lesley Gudgel, Director of Sprouts Child Development Initiative; Robin Hicks, Program Manager for Children’s Behavioral Health; Maria Elena Kuykendall, Community Adviser for Power of Families Project; Christina Starzl Mendoza, Coordinator, Power of Families Project and Conexiones
In the second photo, Community School Coordinator and Center staff : from left, Top Row: Jessica McNeil, Community School Coordinator for Jarman and Jefferson Elementary Schools, Mike Whitham, Community School Coordinator for Grove Elementary, Erin Velez, Community School Coordinator for Rosa Parks Elementary, Mindi Bisdee, Community School Coordinator for Boevers Elementary, Elida Yeahquo, Community School Coordinator for Briarglen Elementary, Paige Whalen, Program Manager, Center for Community School Strategies. From Left, Bottom Row: Emma Thadani, Community School Coordinator for McAuliffe Elementary, Kulsum Siddiqui, Community School Coordinator for Roy Clark Elementary, Kelly Kruggel, Organizational Manager for Center for Community School Strategies