California Educator

August/September 2023

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Page 34 of 71

Community Schools Site Governance Team Composed of 10-12 elected positions who have an equal voice and represent all stakeholders: students, parents, community, union educators, district leaders. The team oversees the working group subcommittee, composed of about 22 people who work on strategy and communication, assessing needs and assets, develop- ing protocols and processes, etc. SDEA has a precedent for shared governance won in a contract fight in the 1990s - see page 38 for details on how key this is to the community schools model, and what it requires.. Involvement of all stakeholders • Parents: "Convincing parents that this is not district-driven but truly collabora- tive [is hard]," says Richard Gijon, Hoover High's community schools coordinator. "But I can see them get excited when I ask, 'What are the top priorities for your students', and we actually listen to them and ask them to work with us and be part of that process." • Students: It's the same with students, Gijon says. " To see their excitement has been amazing — 'not only are you asking me for my voice, but you're actually telling me what you're hearing.'" • Educators and community: A big part is played by the community schools coordinator and site coach, says Chase Fite, Hoover 's site coach, " You need someone who's trusted, [who can convince others that] this is something that is going to improve our site and improve the life of the students as well as all peo- ple surrounding our community." more accessible, coordinated services, and resources directed to or developed for specific needs. The structure has also allowed for enhanced partnerships with community organizations and stronger connections among the school, students and families. "It's a long-term approach," Weinberg says. "Addressing [social, mental, physical] needs now will impact such things as academic performance, social emotional learning, and attendance in the coming years." Here are the elements that Hoover has put in place and continues to refine: Hoover High is situated in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood of San Diego County. "We've had top-down approaches to school transformation. But they didn't take into account the unique needs of each school. The community schools model is different." —RICHARD GIJON, Hoover High Community Schools Coordinator In class with Chase Fite, Hoover's community schools site coach and AP Government teacher. 33 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3

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