PHENND is in the sixth year of an innovative project which seeks to improve and expand the infrastructure for community partnership development across the School District of Philadelphia. This year PHENND has placed 20 AmeriCorps VISTA members, full-time federally funded volunteers, in high-poverty public schools in Philadelphia and in key School District offices to serve as Community Partnership Coordinators. PHENND’s overall goal is to increase the capacity of schools to leverage community partnerships while also helping develop systems and policies that will foster better community partnership development at the District level. With the best practices learned from this program, PHENND is developing a replicable strategy for which there has already been considerable interest from School District leadership to bring to scale.
Some of the VISTAs’ activities include convening monthly community partner meetings at the schools in order to facilitate communication between the schools and their partners, as well as among partners, to encourage collaboration. They are facilitating communication to the broader community through the creation and/or improvement of the schools’ websites, newsletters and other social media platforms which are made widely available to the entire school community including community partners, staff, students and their families. They are also meeting with the School Leadership regularly to discuss school needs and then cultivate existing or new partnerships to better address those needs.
- Download our 2015 one pager that summarizes accomplishments and school characteristics.
In the news:
- Community Schools: A Dedicated Coordinator – press release from Mayor Kenney about one of our PHENND VISTAs (April 4, 2016)
- Isaiah: Product of a Community School – press release from Mayor Kenney about a student at a PHENND VISTA school (March 23, 2016)
- National Principal of the Year from Philadelphia (October 28, 2015)
- More than Just a School (September 14, 2015)
The 2017-2018 participating schools are:
- Carnell Elementary School (Northeast Philadelphia_
- Edison High School (North Philadelphia)
- The U School (North Philadelphia)
- Alexander Adaire School (North Philadelphia)
- Bayard Taylor School (North Philadelphia)
- Edward T. Steel Elementary School (North Philadelphia)
- Isaac Sheppard Elementary School (North Philadelphia)
- Warren G. Harding Middle School (North Philadelphia)
- Chester Arthur Elementary (South Philadelphia)
- Stanton Elementary (South Philadelphia)
- Francis Scott Key School (South Philadelphia)
- Eliza Kirkbride School (South Philadelphia)
- Overbrook Education Center (West Philadelphia)
- Parkway Northwest High School (Northwest Philadelphia)
- Emlen School (Northwest Philadelphia)
along with VISTAs placed at the following School District offices:
- Office of Strategic Partnerships
- Office of Student Support Services
- Office of Family and Community Engagement
- Office of Academic Enrichment Services
- A complete School-Based Community Partnerships Coordinator Job Description
- A list of Frequently Asked Questions about these positions
- Toolkit: Partnering for Student Success: A Practical Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships
- Evaluation Study: Successful School-Based Partnerships: What Does it Take?
- Video of toolkit and study release event (October 20, 2016)
This project is made possible by support from the William Penn Foundation, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.