Austin ISD joined with the Coalition for Community Schools and others across the nation to celebrate Coordinator Appreciation Week on Sept. 25–29.
Community school coordinators develop teams of staff in supportive roles, such as assistant principals, parent support specialists and on-campus service providers.
These teams build bridges between schools and communities by helping develop a continuum of services for children, families and community members within a school.
"As a community school coordinator, the basic thing is: We see a need, we bring partners, they're able to meet that need, and then we move forward with trying to make sure that that's implemented correctly," said Sulamita Mora, community schools coordinator at Mendez Middle School.
Community schools work to align school and community resources with campus needs, prioritizing family and community engagement and collaborative planning.
The Community School movement has grown across the country and internationally, with more than 5,000 schools following the model.
Currently, 12 community schools in Austin ISD use this approach:
- Lanier and Reagan early college high schools
- Burnet, Martin, Mendez and Webb middle schools
- Barrington, Cook, Hart, Pickle, T.A. Brown and Wooldridge elementary schools
Mora and Mendez STEM Academy Director Sherry Lepine talk about what community school coordination looks like at Mendez.