PHENND is in the seventh 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 2019-2020 participating schools are:
- William H. Ziegler School (Northeast Philadelphia)
- Alexander Adaire School (North Philadelphia)
- Mary McLeod Bethune School (North Philadelphia)
- Paul L. Dunbar School (North Philadelphia)
- Andrew J. Morrison School (North Philadelphia)
- Isaac Sheppard Elementary School (North Philadelphia)
- Bayard Taylor School (North Philadelphia)
- John Welsh School (North Philadelphia)
- Warren G. Harding Middle School (North Philadelphia)
- Strawberry Mansion High School (North Philadelphia)
- Cook-Wissahickon School (Northwest Philadelphia)
- Walter B. Saul High School (Northwest Philadelphia)
- Masterman Laboratory & Demonstration School (Center City)
- Benjamin B. Comegys School (West Philadelphia)
along with VISTAs placed at the following School District offices:
- Office of Strategic Partnerships
- Office of High School Support
- Office of Grants Development
- Office of Sustainability
- 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)
- Training modules: Facilitator’s Guide for Partnering for Student Success: A Practical Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships
- Leveraging National Service in Your Schools: A Superintendent’s/Principal’s Toolkit to Utilizing National Service Resources (PHENND VISTA project featured on pg 15)
This project is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the School District of Philadelphia.