United Way Community Schools Grow to Ten Countywide

Wednesday May 8th, 2019

United Way and Erie’s Public Schools announce Harding and Perry Elementary as newest community schools; name corporate partner

Officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools have announced Harding Elementary and Perry Elementary will be transformed into community schools, bringing the total number of schools included in the partnership to ten countywide.

Community schools are places where resources from the community are used to improve academic student success. Community schools offer programs that focus on health and social services for students and parents. Rather than sending students to services throughout the city and county, these services are brought into the school. The schools become the center of the area they serve, with access before, during and after school hours, including the summer months. As needs of students and families change, so do the supports offered at community schools.

United Way is pleased to announce that Eriez Magnetics is making the dream of Harding and Perry becoming community schools a reality as they will serve as the Corporate Partner for both schools.

Corporate partners are vital to the work of community schools because they provide financial support. Many corporate partners also support their school's’ specific needs through volunteer engagement efforts, professional development and in-kind resources.

In addition to the announcement of the two new community schools, it was announced that the next step is for a Lead Partner to be named. United Way issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) at the press announcement. The Lead Partner of a United Way community school is an entity whose vision and mission matches that of the community school model and can point to specific services and strategies in their resource pool that will enhance opportunities for students and families to learn and be successful.

Interested organizations in Erie County should visit for complete details. Deadline to complete the RFQ is 4pm on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Once a Lead Partner is secured a Community School Director will be hired. The Community School Director’s (CSD) responsibilities include executing the coordination and alignment of resources within a community school to achieve specific educational goals. 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 of the partnerships and resources brought into the school, focused on removing barriers to learning for economically disadvantaged students.

United Way community schools already in place in Erie’s Public Schools include:

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

Additional schools through Erie County include Iroquois Elementary in the Iroquois School District and Elk Valley Elementary in the Girard School District.

Why Community Schools Work:

  • Engaged school district leadership
  • School principal leading the vision and process at each site
  • Community School Director, employed by a community-based organization or institution of higher education, working full-time in the school with funding support from Corporate Partners
  • Site-based leadership team comprising parents, educators, community and business partners
  • Facility access before, during and beyond school hours

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