On Community Learning

There used to be a charter school, and it still may be there - I'm not sure - in Over-the-Rhine called W.E.B. DuBois Middle School. In a very short time, it became one of the few charter schools in the state to attain a rating of Excellent. Parents and community raved about the school. Kids scored the highest possible scores on state tests for reading and math.

I used to see the kids walking along Central Pkwy on my way to work in the mornings. I didn't know where they were going. But it was quite a sight. They walked single file on the sidewalk, with an adult at the front of the line and one in back. They were always smiling and bouncing, and the I want to say they all wore dark blue jackets. The boys did at least.

Then the founder and principal of the school was ousted and convicted of fraud or something. Not sure.

But back to their success. W.E.B. Dubois kept the kids there until 6 pm. The school was also open on Saturdays and Sundays. And instruction was year-round.

Is that what it takes to succeed in a low-income neighborhood? To practically raise the kids becaue no one else will?

Schools can no longer just be schools for some of these kids to succeed. The services must not be just educational, but holistic and comprehensive.

Which is why this quick story about progress on the new Rothenberg School and Community Learning Center reminded me about all the new CLC's being built by CPS right now, one of the many things they're doing right.

From the CPS web page:

Communities and schools are strongly linked — one seldom succeeds if the other fails. Schools need families and communities that are involved in the education of students; communities need schools that serve as centers of neighborhood life.

...The district launched its 10-year, $1-billion Facilities Master Plan in 2002, with the goal of creating Community Learning Centers within all of its fully renovated and newly constructed buildings. There is no "cookie-cutter" design for a Community Learning Center; each represents the energy and needs of its neighborhood.

...For example, Winton Hills Academy identified health concerns as a barrier to students' learning. As a result, they now partner with a pharmacy, a primary and oral-health care provider, and a full-time behavioral health clinic to provide services to their students and families.

...Community Learning Centers are proven success stories. Benefits for students include: improved academic performance, higher attendance rates and greater parent involvement. One example is Winton Hills Academy — enrollment is up, discipline incidents are down dramatically, and the building hums daily with after-school and summer programming run by the YMCA.

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