Community schools serve students and their parents

By Sandra Fish

CHALKBEAT

The school day doesn’t end with academic classes at Malley Drive Elementary in Northglenn.

After-school activities include sports, art, working with clay, writing and more. Teachers try to visit families at home at least once a year, to learn how they can support their children in the classrooms. And parents are studying for and passing GED exams at the school.

It’s all part of Malley Drive’s third year as a community school, an effort to go beyond academics and more broadly serve students and families.

Soon, community schools could become more common in Colorado under a bill that received preliminary Senate approval Tuesday and is likely to become law.  Senate Bill 102, a reprise of legislation that died in committee in the Republican-controlled Senate last year, is aimed at helping struggling schools get community support and extend their reach to turn themselves around.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat, doesn’t provide any state funds for those extra programs, but Zenzinger believes it could make it easier for schools to qualify for federal grants under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Read more