WCCUSD awarded $30M from state to support community schools

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Kennedy High School, Richmond.

A newly-awarded $30 million state grant will support and expand upon services provided by community schools within the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD).

Currently, WCCUSD has 22 full-service community schools, which offer resources to students beyond the classroom, such as health services and after-school programs. Such resources are provided via alignment and coordination with public and private community partners and organizations. At Kennedy High, for example, medical services and a dental program are provided by Contra Costa Health Services, a writing enrichment program is provided by Writer Coach Connection and parent and climate support programs are provided by The Latina Center. Find a list of full-service community schools here.

The California Department of Education is awarding the WCCUSD with $30 million over the next five years to support and augment the district’s system of community schools. The funds will be used “to provide a set of universal supports” to the 22 schools, with a focus on integrating positive school climate, community engagement and instruction work. The grant will provide each participating community school with a Community Schools Director, a School and Community Outreach Worker, and funding to support increased expanded learning programing, according to WCCUSD.

In addition, each participating community school will be supported by a Central Office Community Manager, Restorative Justice/PBIS Manager, Early Intervention Specialist and Outreach Speciallist. Discretionary site funding will be provided and allocate towards resources such as mental health clinicians and tutoring, the WCCUSD said.

The grant must be approved by the State Board of Education at its May 18.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our district to catalyze and accelerate the development of the next generation of our community schools,” said WCCUSD Superintendent Dr. Chris Hurst. “We are working together towards a day when all students are well-known, well-cared for, and well-prepared in all of the communities we serve.”  

WCCUSD began its community schools strategy in 2007 with the establishment of school-based health centers at six comprehensive high schools. In 2012, the district adopted a Full Service Community Schools Resolution.