U.K. Parliament Committee Studies Community School in Action

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Members of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee of the UK Parliament visited I.S. 218 on May 13 to study first-hand The Children’s Aid Society’s model of public community schools in New York City. They were greeted by members of the National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools and by the principal of I.S. 218, June Barnett.

The 13 members of Parliament – Labor, New Democrat and one Conservative – toured the halls, student wellness center, family room, orthodontic clinic, classroom and auditorium and heard presentations about community schools and particularly, mental health services provided in community schools.

In 2010, all of the schools in England will become extended schools, which are based in part on Children’s Aid’s full service model. As of this writing, over 30% of England’s schools are extended schools, and their results have been impressive.

On a fast-paced study tour of educational institutions in New York City, the group nevertheless posed thoughtful questions and had areas of interest – including school-based services, parent involvement, narrowing the achievement gaps among students, and inspiring student self-esteem and motivation – that coincided directly with the major elements of Children’s Aid’s model.

Dr. Leslie Joseph, Children’s Aid’s Director of Dental Services, explains our orthodontic services to members of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee of the UK Parliament during their visit to I.S. 218. Photo: Ben Russell