The Madison School District announced today that Hawthorne and Lakeview Elementary Schools will become the district’s two newest community schools starting in the 2018-19 school year and will provide coordinated services and supports to students and families in the schools’ neighborhoods.

“Community Schools build on the strengths of our school communities and prepare our students to excel in the classroom,” said MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham in a statement. “When students and their families are fully supported, our students can be ready to excel in the classroom. We are so energized to add these two more community schools to our district.”

Hawthorne and Lakeview, on Madison’s east and north sides, respectively, will join Mendota and Leopold Elementary Schools as community schools, a collective strategy to transform schools into a place where students, families, staff, and the surrounding community can work together to ensure every student is successful. The Community Schools strategy places the focus on the whole child by providing academic support, social and emotional learning, health and wellness, family and community engagement, and a safe and supportive climate. Community Schools will complement existing community services by locating those services where families and children are every day.

Last Thursday at its annual Madison Gives event, Madison Community Foundation (MCF) announced a $1.1 million challenge grant to Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools (FMPS) to grow and sustain the Community Schools Initiative. It was the largest grant in the foundation’s history.

“Public schools are our most important community asset. Nearly 87 percent of kids in Madison are educated in our public schools,” MCF President Bob Sorge said in a statement. “So even if you don’t have kids in our schools, this is a topic that directly affects you. Public schools are the foundation of civil society and nothing has greater power to shape our community’s future.”

Nineteen schools were invited to apply to be community schools starting in the 2018-19 school year. Both Hawthorne and Lakeview will have a resource coordinator tasked with planning and facilitating programs and services for families, students and the community. Each school will analyze the assets and needs of their school community in order to develop their plan for identifying and delivering services to families, students and the community.

Written by Madison365 staff