September 23, 2020

Van Hollen, Brown, Capito Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Designate Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week

Full-Service Community Schools that Provide Integrated Student Supports Can Improve Student Outcomes

This week, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate the week of September 21 through September 25, 2020, as Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week. 

Community schools are public schools that provide integrated student supports, well-designed and expanded learning opportunities, and active family and community engagement and that use collaborative leadership and practices. The resolution recognizes the role community school coordinators have in building and strengthening successful community schools and highlights the resiliency and impact of community school coordinators in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There are over 200 community schools serving Maryland students, including 115 in Baltimore City. 

“As we’ve seen in Baltimore and across Maryland, community schools are uniquely equipped to provide a top-notch educational experience to students by combining classroom learning with crucial wraparound services. It’s clear – these schools make a huge positive impact on the lives of their students and families. Community school coordinators are essential to these efforts, which is why I’m proud to recognize their hard work with this resolution. Our local community schools are valued partners, and we must keep working to support them – along with those they serve – to ensure equal opportunity for all our students,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

In July, Van Hollen and Brown led a letter to Senate leadership in support of additional dedicated funding for the Full-Service Community Schools program in the next COVID-19 relief package. The letter also asked to ensure the allowable uses for this additional funding remain flexible to provide essential resources for our public schools to meet the needs of students and families. The letter was also signed by Senators Durbin, Sanders, and Booker. 

“Community schools offer unique opportunities to students in Ohio and across the country,” said Senator Brown. “They make a real difference in the lives of students and their families. That’s why the work of community school coordinators is so important. Community schools are an efficient, evidence-based model for our public schools and I hope Congress will provide more resources so that local communities can adopt the model. Now more than ever, we must support our communities by investing in our public schools and helping them provide necessary financial, healthcare, and educational support to community schools serving children and families most affected by the pandemic.” 

“Community schools represent vital partnerships for our communities that are helping them to achieve success,” said Senator Capito. “Community school coordinators are an essential element of that success, and this resolution is one way we can thank them for the work they do for our students, families, and communities.” 

Along with Van Hollen, Brown, and Capito, the resolution was also cosponsored by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

Community schools are public schools that provide integrated student supports, such as counseling, medical and dental services, and transportation. They are associated with improving student outcomes in areas like attendance, social and emotional functioning, and academic achievement. Community school coordinators work with the community and non-profits to identify and source additional resources to benefit students and their families. 

The full text of the resolution is available here.