United Way Community Schools Grow to 13 Countywide

Thursday Jan 13th, 2022


United Way and Erie’s Public Schools announce Lincoln and Wilson as newest community schools; name new community school director at Perry

Officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools have announced Lincoln Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School will be transformed into the next two community schools, bringing the total number of schools included in the partnership to 13 countywide.

The expansion of the transformational student success initiative is being made possible by a once-in-a-lifetime infusion of federal funding over a three-year period. Once this period ends, United Way will assume financial responsibility for continued funding of the community schools model at these schools.

Once the full model expansion is completed later this year, every EPS elementary and middle school will be a community school. The EPS 2018-2024 Strategic Plan, “Mobilizing Community, Igniting Excellence!” calls to “extend the community schools approach to all schools, by implementing the existing model district-wide and cultivating the mindset inherent in the model,” leading to student success.

“We are thrilled to continue the expansion of the community schools model to Lincoln Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School,” Erie’s Public Schools Superintendent Brian Polito said. “We see every day how the community schools model makes a real and concrete difference in the lives of our students and their families by removing barriers to learning and expect it will have a tremendous impact at Lincoln and Wilson.”  

Lincoln Principal Carol Jo Huffman is excited about what the community school model will mean for the Lincoln community.

“Community schools offer additional layers of support and community connections that are so vital to the success of our students and their families,” Huffman said. “We’re grateful the model will be in place here at Lincoln.”

For Wilson Middle School, the implementation of a community schools model is an opportunity to engage more students and their families, meet their needs and, ultimately, increase student success, Wilson Principal Mike Pisano said.

“It’s a fantastic supplement to everything we are already doing to support our families and students,” Pisano said.

A first step in the process of launching the next two community schools will be the hiring of a community school director (CSD) at each school respectively.

United Way president Laurie Root shared, "The community school initiative is key to United Way’s mission to crush poverty in Erie. This unprecedented funding opportunity, supported by the very strong partnership with Erie’s Public Schools, will accelerate the positive impact of the initiative, helping more children achieve academic success, setting them up for success in life and helping to lift our entire community.”

  1. Diehl Elementary School
  2. East Middle School
  3. Edison Elementary School
  4. Harding Elementary School
  5. McKinley Elementary School
  6. Perry Elementary School
  7. Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School
  8. Strong Vincent Middle School

Additional schools throughout Erie County include Iroquois Elementary in the Iroquois School District, Elk Valley Elementary in the Girard School District and Union City Elementary in the Union City School District.

The role of a CSD is complex and requires a dynamic person who can effectively navigate and interconnect multiple systems to achieve success for children and families. The CSD is accountable to the principal and the community school leadership team. They lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive community school action plan that guides all the partnerships and resources brought into the school, focused on removing barriers to learning for economically disadvantaged students.

Additionally, United Way and Erie’s Public Schools are pleased to announce that Scot Galloway has been named Community School Director at Perry Elementary, a community school. Perry was established as a community school in December 2019. Scot is no stranger to United Way's community schools model. Previous positions include program coordinator and blended case manager at Edison Elementary, a community school. Scot holds an Associate Degree in Human Resource Management from Butler County Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Bellevue University.

As the CSD at Perry, Scot will work closely with the principal and He will be responsible for guiding ongoing needs and resource assessment and developing the school's action plan that guides all the non-academic activities in the school.

Also, Scot will ensure all programming is aligned with the needs identified in the action plan and implemented according to a partnership agreement. This position is employed by United Way to ensure fidelity to the Community School model.