Community Schools Get a Boost from the D.C. Council

(Cross-posted on the D.C. LEARNs Blog)

An article today in The Washington Post on the J.C. Nalle Elementary School, the District’s sole community school, noted that the D.C. Council recently gave preliminary approval to spend $1 million in the District’s FY 2013 budget for a pilot program to establish five new  community schools. I wanted to share Council Member Brown’s comments regarding the potential for community schools to address adult education needs (according to the article, the Nalle currently offers help to community members trying to obtain a GED):

“Schools have always traditionally been the anchor in the community,” says council member Michael Brown (I-At Large), who sponsored the measure. “And you can’t be an anchor if you’re just open from nine to three.”

In the council’s vision, he says, schools would serve as neighborhood beacons, catering to the needs of individual communities. One might offer an adult literacy program and another job training services. At Nalle, adults have been offered everything from conflict resolution classes to help with obtaining their GEDs.

The Post also provided a few details about the staffing and costs associated with the Nalle’s community school:

Unlike the District’s new pilot program, which will be paid for using city funds, Nalle operates through a 12-year partnership between the school system, the Freddie Mac Foundation and the National Center for Children and Families. Freddie Mac has contributed nearly $8 million to the school, and the National Center for Children and Families oversees the after-school program and employs four day-time staff members, including Sherman and two social workers.