Education Committee Meeting
James McHenry Elementary/Middle School
Introduction and Background: The Southwest Partnership Education and Workforce Development Committee has been meeting for more than two years. During this time a majority of the work has been on workforce development related issues. The workforce providers and those interested in workforce development will be meeting separately during the day, and this committee will focus on K-12 education and supporting area schools.
The meetings will be held in the evening to make them more accessible for community members, parents, and school staff.
Over the past two years the Committee has worked on increasing child care resources in the community, created the workforce collaborative with the goal of identifying 250 jobs for area residents, and met with the principals to ask them to identify needs for their schools. The principals identified attendance, literacy support and resources, and mental health resources as areas of need.
The Committee has identified resources to address attendance (the Public Allies Americorps program could place Public Allies as attendance monitors in each school) and literacy (Reading Partners, which is in one area school is looking to expand in six schools across the city and the Committee would advocate for at least 2 of those to be SWP area schools), and is interested in looking into available resources and best practices to address mental health.
Suggestions for potential mental health resources included Time Org. (which is at Steuart Hill and Excel Academy), and Communities in Schools.
Franklin Square and James McHenry Elementary/Middle Schools are in the year-long planning process of becoming Community Schools with SWCOS (the Social Work Community Outreach Service), and George Washington Elementary School will begin the process next year. Being a Community School will mean that both schools will have a full time Community School Coordinator who will be responsible for building partnerships to support the school and the community.
Dr Crawley emphasized the importance of having partners who have sustainable programs and will remain in the school, sharing resources and training with teachers and staff.
Committee Goal: The Education and Workforce Development Committee needs to establish goals to work towards in 2016. The Committee as a whole already has a workforce goal (to identify 250 jobs and place neighborhood residents in them), and the education goal from the principal’s dinner to address the raised issues of attendance and literacy. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss issues that the schools in the area face and identify a final goal.
The Committee discussed possible goals. Suggestions included: improving and increasing access to funding for schools, especially those challenged by Baltimore City’s per-pupil funding model. This could include advocating for different funding models as well as identifying ways to fill gaps in funding; increasing students’ access to real world, hands-on experiences including job shadowing experiences, internships, paid work opportunities, and project based learning; and ensuring that all students have access to academically enriching summer (or out of school time in general) activities.
Each Committee member had an opportunity to vote for one of the goals at the end of the meeting. The Committee decided that ensuring that all students have access to academically enriching summer (or out of school time) activities and opportunities would be its goal for the coming year.
The next meeting will be Tuesday January 5th at 7pm at Steuart Hill Academic Academy (30 S Gilmor St). Committee members can come early to tour the Steuart Hill after school program.