Everyone recognizes Wister needs to improve in order to better serve our students and families. Not everyone agrees the only alternative is turning it over to a charter operator.
Experience shows schools improve when the commitment, energies and skills of teachers, parents and the entire community are brought together. Working together a group of parents and teachers have helped develop a plan to do just that.
The heart of this plan is the creation of a planning committee of parents, teachers and community members who would work with the administration over a year’s time to figure out what the school needs and identify the partnerships, policies and supports necessary to get it there. You can read the whole plan on the community schools task force page.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT A COMMUNITY SCHOOL? Community schools provide services and supports to help children and their families like health clinics, GED programs, and after school activities based on the needs of the community. Community schools emphasize community involvement and a voice for members in the governing of the school. Community schools recognize that children that are hungry, sick or traumatized will have problems learning.
WHO COMES UP WITH THE PLAN? Parents and teachers select representatives to serve on the planning committee. Parents and community members will be the majority. The committee will have a budget to do the necessary research. A full time coordinator is hired to carry out the plan.
WHO PAYS FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS? Other than the costs of the coordinator position there are no new costs to the school. There is new federal funding available for community schools. The costs of services are paid for by public and private partners that locate in the school.
WHAT ABOUT BETTER STAFFING AND MORE RESOURCES? Community schools are not a substitute for fully funded neighborhood schools with full time nurses, counselors, librarians, and enough teachers to lower class size. The fight to gain the funding from the state, city and federal government must continue.
This plan, along with similar ones for Cooke and Huey, have been submitted to the SRC by Wister parents. If you support this alternative please sign our open letter to the SRC