Educators and Advocates to Gather for Community Schools Practicum and Arne Duncan Speech

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U.S. Education Secretary Duncan to Address Implementation of Community Schools Vision

More Widespread Implementation of Community Schools Vision Focus of Workshops at Community Schools Practicum

Contact:
Ellen Lubell, The Children's Aid Society, (o) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864
Emily Crossan, The Children’s Aid Society, (o) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742

When:
[speech] Thursday, October 22, 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
[Practicum] Thursday and Friday, October 22 and 23, Teachers College

Where:
[speech and Practicum] Cowin Hall, Teachers College, Columbia University,
525 West 120th St, at Broadway, NYC

What:
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the keynote address for The Children’s Aid Society’s 9th Community Schools Practicum; he will address community schools practitioners from 24 states and 4 countries. (The Practicum is a series of workshops, plenary sessions and idea exchanges for professionals who are running community schools initiatives as well as other civic, philanthropic and educational advocates, that will take place at Teachers College on October 22 and 23.)

In his speech, Duncan will articulate the vision of the community school as an educational strategy that can help students, especially in low-income communities, overcome issues in their lives that have become obstacles to their educations so that they are able to learn. Secretary Duncan is likely to speak about the need for extended learning opportunities in schools, including new approaches to instruction in academic subjects as well as the provision of opportunities for other types of learning. Extended hours and learning opportunities are a hallmark of community schools, and provide opportunities for parents and other community members to participate, in addition to students.

His address will be followed by a panel discussion among Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers; the Honorable Kathy Taylor, Mayor, Tulsa, OK; Ralph Smith, Executive Vice President, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Michael Rebell, Executive Director, Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Duncan has a long-standing relationship with The Children’s Aid Society’s community schools. He visited one of Children’s Aid’s community schools in New York early in his tenure as CEO of the Chicago public school system. Currently there are over 150 public community schools in Chicago; Children’s Aid is providing technical assistance to that school system.

The educators and advocates attending the community schools practicum will spend Thursday and Friday working in breakout sessions regarding the elements of systemic change, building capacity to implement the community schools strategy, and studying case histories of locales that illustrate local capacity building. Community schools are viewed as a critically needed education reform strategy that can improve the health and well being of children and help them learn, as well as improve the effectiveness of public schools. The community schools Practicum is organized by The Children’s Aid Society to help community schools practitioners improve their schools and advance the implementation of community schools in public school systems across the United States and internationally.

Please visit www.childrensaidsociety.org/communityschools for more information. Please call 212-949-4938 for Practicum agenda.

The Children’s Aid Society was founded in 1853. It is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving 150,000 of New York’s neediest children and their families with a network of services that includes programming for early childhood, school-age children, teens and their parents, adoption and foster care services, teen pregnancy prevention, education, health and recreation. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers and camps. For additional information please call 212-949-4938 or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

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