Triaging trauma: Community schools tap partners to address needs made worse by COVID-19
Education Dive Reporter Kathryn Baron reports that leaders say the (coronavirus) crisis “makes the case” for the community school model... Because the mission of community schools is to create a neighborhood hub through partnerships that bring everything from tutoring and social services to healthcare and enrichment programs directly into schools, proponents of the model say they have the infrastructure and relationships to respond to a crisis like COVID-19 more nimbly and efficiently than many traditional schools.
... In the best of times, community schools serve a vulnerable and marginalized population. A crisis (such as this) will magnify family stresses and inflame unstable conditions.
“To be very honest, we’re dealing with students who were in crisis before the virus, and it is just going to add a layer of depth to the kind of work that our site coordinators are doing,” said Rey Saldaña, president and CEO of Communities in Schools. He likened school staff to paramedics in these situations and is not the only community school leader to describe their work during the early days of the pandemic as triage.
“Each one of our site coordinators knows the students who are going to be most at risk,” said Saldaña. “They know the students that they need to check with more often because of the safety issues.”
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