New York State Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa
On March 14, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa visited the Salome Ureña de Henriquez campus. She accepted our invitation to see the school, learn about the community school strategy and discuss the importance of school-based health centers (SBHCs). We are asking for her support in making the SBHC carve-out permanent as part of New York State’s multi-year redesign of Medicaid. Ms. Rosa met with Migdalia Cortes-Torres, community school director, as well as with representatives from CAS offices of policy, health, and NCCS. She also heard from students and parents about the need to protect school-based health services.
New York City 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grantess
On March 5, a group of 17 21st Century grantees attended training on family engagement at the NCCS. Participants had the opportunity for dialogue about the benefits and challenges of engaging families; the workshop also included tools and activities to assist them to be able to turnkey the training. The chief trainer was Janice Chu-Zhu, NCCS senior director of national capacity building, assisted by NCCS Director of special projects Lukas Weinstein. As the lead technical assistance partner with the NYC 21st CCLC Regional Assistance Center, NCCS provides a series of capacity-building workshops.
New York City 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grantees
On March 12, a group of 11 21st Century Learning Centers grantees visited the NCCS to attend training on behavior guidance and discipline and mental health. The workshop, led by Janice Chu-Zhu, provided detailed explanations of the differences between using punishment vs. discipline approaches when working with children and youth.
On March 18, NYC Collaborates Director Jaclyn Leffel brought a large group of district and charter school staff and network leaders to visit the Salomé Ureña de Henriquez campus. The goal of the study visit was to learn about the community school strategy, with a particular focus on parent, family and community engagement.
NYC Collaborates creates opportunities for educators from NYC districts and charter schools to come together to share information and partner to improve student achievement. Spearheaded by the New York City’s Department of Education and the NYC Charter Center, NYC Collaborates is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates and the Robertson and Robin Hood Foundations.
Ash Villa-Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation, Lincolnshire, England
On March 21, Beth Watson from the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust will visit the Salomé Ureña de Henriquez Campus. Ms. Watson, a staff nurse at the Ash Villa inpatient mental health unit, received a prestigious scholarship that will enable her to travel to Boston and New York to undertake a five-week study of America’s school-based mental health services.
Ms. Watson’s objective is to gain a thorough understanding of how school-based mental health services are set up and run in America, as well as what impact they have; she believes that speaking to professionals in the field would be the best way for her to do this. She notes: “In America, specialist teams work in schools to provide valuable mental health promotion, prevention and intervention, which helps to identify and treat young people much sooner, thus accelerating their recovery and preventing their illness from escalating into something much more complex to treat.” She hopes that an outcome of her study will be some comparative learning to improve service development in Lincolnshire.
Besides discussing school-based mental health, we will be briefing her about the comprehensive nature of the community school strategy. Ms. Watson will be meeting with Maria Astudillo, CAS deputy director mental health services, Migdalia Cortes-Torres and Hersilia Méndez.
University of Chicago and New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN)
On March 27, a group of 30 students from the University of Chicago will be visiting PS5, a CAS community school in Washington Heights. They are interested in both after-school and community schools. NYSAN Executive Director Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, who visited one of our schools last year and is coordinating the visit, believes that a study visit to a CAS school could accomplish both goals.
Ms. Niedzielski- Eichner will join the study visit to talk about NYSAN and the importance of extended learning opportunities. The group will also hear from Madelyn Gonzalez, P.S. 5 community school director, Keyla Espinal, CAS policy and advocacy associate, and Hersilia Méndez.
Barnardo's Northern Ireland and University of Pennsylvania
On March 31 and April 1, a group of five colleagues from Barnardo’s Northern Ireland and Professor Danny Perkins from Penn State will be visiting the NCCS, Curtis High School in Staten Island, CAS executive office and the collective impact zone in the South Bronx (which CAS and others are spearheading).
Barnardo's is the leading children's British charity, founded in 1866 to care for vulnerable children and young people. We have been collaborating with the agency for over a decade; they now work in 162 extended service schools across the region. The purpose of this study visit is to learn from our collective impact work in the South Bronx – a progression from the collective action nature of community schools to the neighbourhood strategy of collective impact.
Visitors will be meeting with Bill Weisberg, CAS interim President and CEO; NCCS director Jane Quinn; Lukas Weinstein, NCCS director of special projects; and CAS director of collective impact, Abe Fernández. Hersilia Méndez is designing and will moderate the study visit.