Full Service Community Schools
The Core Belief behind Paterson Public Schools’ Full Service Community Schools is to ensure that 100% of Paterson Public Schools’ students graduate High School prepared for college and career ready.
A Full Service Community School is a school in which service agencies and schools team up to meet a whole range of children's social, emotional, and academic needs, using the school building as a hub. Through outside partnerships, students and families can benefit from the services such as a mental health counselor, a bilingual family caseworker, after-school enrichment, a health center, dental care, nutrition, and counseling to name a few.
The Full Service Community Schools initiative is progressing through the various planning stages. In 2010, School 5 was selected to launch this initiative in Phase I with the 2010-2011 school year seeing the transformation of the school into a Full Service Community School. The school has been responding to the needs assessments of the community and providing medical, social, and academic services to students and members of the community. Phase II included New Roberto Clemente and Reverend, Dr. Frank Napier Academy, as they transformed into Full Service Community Schools for the 2011-2012 school year. In the 2013-2014 school year, School 6 and School 15 were launched representing Phase III of the initiative. Planning for Phase IV is underway and applications will be sent out to all schools within the district in order to gain a sense of those that would be interested. Upon reviewing the applications, visits will be made in order to assess building usage, general interior areas, instructional areas, and food service areas.
Over the past four years, Theory of Change (TOC) workshops have been conducted for each Phase. The TOC includes stakeholders of the Paterson Public Schools Full Service Community Schools Initiative, school administration, teachers, staff, and district personnel. The TOC is conducted by ActKnowledge, is an action research organization of the Center for Human Environments at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and has worked on the evaluation of Children’s Aid Society community schools. The TOC has been co-facilitated by the Children’s Aid Society, which has been our Technical Advisor since the beginning. The goal of the TOC is for the community school initiative to clearly identify its outcomes through a transparent and participatory process. A TOC begins with developing a “pathway” of outcomes. The pathway is the step-by-step set of conditions that need to be in place to reach the long-term goal. The Paterson FSCS initiative will complete all or most of their outcomes framework during the workshop, and can continue to develop the TOC over time.
Full Service Community Schools Steering Committee
Tobi L. Knehr