"Empowering Transformation: MMSD's Community Schools Staff Spark Change and Growth at the Summer Institute"
This past summer marked a historic moment for MMSD's Community Schools as they embarked on their inaugural Summer Institute. This groundbreaking endeavor promises to forge even stronger bonds among staff and elevate the transformative impact of their mission.
In 2015, the Madison Community School Framework was born, ushering in a pioneering approach that seamlessly integrates essential programming and services. These services, including healthcare, academic tutoring, mentorship, food accessibility, and parent leadership opportunities, are thoughtfully woven into the fabric of our schools, transforming them into vibrant epicenters of holistic support.
Sarita Foster, our Community Schools Manager, emphasized that this summer gathering is more than just professional development; it's an extraordinary opportunity for our resource coordinators to converge in person and unleash the full potential of collaboration.
During the MMSD Community Schools' Summer Institute, our dedicated staff embarked on a whirlwind of activities and initiatives, setting the stage for an inspiring year ahead. Here's a glimpse of what they accomplished:
- Resource Binder for CSRCs: A comprehensive resource binder was curated to empower our Community School Resource Coordinators (CSRCs) with the tools they need to make a meaningful impact.
- 2023/2024 School Year Calendar: Our team established a dynamic calendar, ensuring that Community School meetings are scheduled on the 3rd Monday of each month, promoting regular collaboration and synergy. All events are published on our revamped website.
- Impact Report Template: With an eye on accountability and progress, an Impact Report Template was developed to capture and showcase the impact of our efforts, with reporting scheduled for both January and July.
- CSRC Handbook: The creation of a comprehensive CSRC Handbook promises to be a valuable resource for our dedicated coordinators, offering guidance and insights to navigate their critical roles effectively.
- Training Module: A robust training module was crafted to equip our staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their roles and further strengthen the Community Schools mission.
- Principal and CS Manager Monthly Meetings: Regular meetings were scheduled to foster open communication and collaboration between principals and our Community Schools Manager, ensuring a seamless and supportive partnership.
- Branding Initiatives: The team initiated impactful branding efforts, including Partner Kick-Off and appreciation events, aimed at recognizing and cultivating vital relationships within our community.
- Volunteer Recruitment: Collaboration was initiated with Laura Whitmore, Coordinator of Community Partnerships, and Laura Glaub, Social Worker District Lead, to drive volunteer recruitment, bolstering our support network and community engagement.
- Steering Committee Preparation: The groundwork for a Steering Committee was laid, with plans to compile a list of prospective members and extend invitations for an October meeting.
- Adopt-a-School Partners: All partners joined forces to adopt schools, committing to nurturing and enhancing the educational experience for our students.
- Engagement Surveys: Engagement surveys were designed for students in grades 3-5, all families, and all staff, ensuring continuous feedback and improvement. These will be sent out twice per year.
- National Center for Community Schools Boot Camps: In August, our team participated in the National Center for Community Schools' Coordinator and Supervisor Boot Camps, leveraging insights and best practices from the broader community schools network.
The MMSD Community Schools' inaugural Summer Institute signifies a monumental step forward in our journey to redefine education, support, and community engagement. Together, we are blazing a trail toward a brighter, more inclusive future, where students and families thrive and communities flourish.