Jacky Bailey is a volunteer Citizen Teacher who joined Citizen Schools, after moving to the Bay Area from Australia, because she missed working with students and wanted to get to know her new community. When Bailey decided to teach an apprenticeship with Citizen Schools for the second time, she wanted to ensure her students could enact and advocate for change in the real world - and not just theoretically in the classroom.
The third case study from the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development discusses the role community partners can play in supporting children’s learning in collaboration with schools. “School-Community Partnerships” cites key examples of school-community partnerships, highlighting the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative in particular which (as many of you may remember from our visit there last November) takes a city-wide approach to this work, joining everyone from the mayor’s office to the local Boys and Girls Club in support of children’s learning.
Citizen Schools California is proud to announce our successful expansion to two new partner sites: Joseph George Middle School, in Alum Rock District of San Jose, and Ronald McNair Middle School in Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto. All seven of our campuses across the Bay Area successfully launched in early September and both of our new campuses are embracing a smooth transition to Expanded Learning Time (ELT).
In our ELT model, Citizen Schools extends the learning day by three hours and brings a diverse group of caring and committed professionals into the classroom to provide hands on and relevant learning opportunities to students.
Launching program at new sites is no simple task. Here’s an inside look at what the first few days at our new campuses have been like.
At both Joseph George Middle School and Ronald McNair Middle School, Citizen Schools was impressed and thrilled to have 100% attendance on the first day of program. This level of investment could not have have happened without the support of teachers and school administration, many of whom stayed after hours to ensure our AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows were prepared for their first classes.
Of course, parents are also key to our success. Our campus staff and school partners work closely with them to ensure an easy transition to a longer ELT school day. Campus Directors and Teaching Fellows have been working hard to address parents’ questions about ELT, and their efforts are paying off. Already we've heard positive feedback from parents who are excited that their students are receiving academic support and opportunities for project based learning.
The support and enthusiasm of the Joseph George Middle School and Ronald McNair Middle School communities as well as the leadership of our campus staff leave us feeling confident that our successes will only continue in the months ahead. With students, parents, and teachers on board, and with volunteers ready to begin their apprenticeships, the Citizen Schools ship has set sail! We couldn't be happier that school has started again and look forward to seeing YOU in the classroom soon!