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    Welcome to Shields Community School
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    Orozco students with Sen. Munoz
 
Latest Budget Update & Actions YOU can take

                     
                            

We are inching closer to June 30th, the end of FY15 and the July 1st deadline for the state to have a signed FY16 budget. It is unclear whether the Governor and the General Assembly will have agreed on a budget by July 1st, and partners and providers should be preparing for the possibility that the state will not have a budget in place by July 1st and funding for programs will either stop or won't start with the fiscal year. We also need not just a signed FY16 budget, but one that includes adequate revenue generation so as to maintain critical supports for children and families. We need a fair, equitable budget that is not balanced on the backs of vulnerable residents, and we need it by July 1st.

It is vital the members of the General Assembly and the Governor hear directly from people impacted by the budget impasse. Should the state not have a signed budget by July 1st, many of the supports and services that your communities rely on will be interrupted.

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Communities and Schools in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Receive National Community Schools Awards for Excellence

The Coalition for Community Schools has announced this year's Community School Award for Excellence recipients. The winners represent the best of what community schools have to offer in red and blue states, in cities and suburbs, and in all different levels and types of schools.

Each of the 7 winners, which include both individual schools and multi-site community initiatives, brings a unique story of success. Organized to respond to local conditions, these awardees are tackling some of today's most pressing issues that influence young people's development - poverty, safety, and equitable access to opportunities. They demonstrate how public schools can become community hubs that bring together educators, families, and community partners to offer a range of opportunities and supports to families, communities, and young people.

John Hancock College Preparatory High School in Chicago was an award recipient. Through its partnership with Youth Guidance, Hancock has increased its social-emotional support for students, through programs like Becoming A Man (BAM), as well as enrichment opportunities that enable students to exercise leadership skills. It is paying off in the form of attendance rates increasing from 70 percent in 2010 to 90% last year, decreased dropout rates, and the five-year graduation rate improving by 20%. All their efforts combined have led to academic gains and a positive school climate and culture. 
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Thanks for Joining Us in Springfield!

Many thanks to the 130+ participants who joined us (in person or virtually) in Springfield on April 29 for our Community Schools & Afterschool Programs Advocacy Day hosted in partnership with the ACT Now Coalition.  Program staff, parents, and students from Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Champaign-Ford ROE, Elev8 Chicago / Mikva Challenge, Family Focus, ICOY, Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, MFS, Project Success of Vermillion CountyThe Jackson Initiative, YMCA, and Youth with a Positive Direction collectively met with 74 elected officials.

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Wisconsin Stakeholders Visit Chicago to Learn about Community Schools


On April 24 a bus load of 75 parents, teachers, funders and elected officials from Wisconsin arrived at Shields Middle School, in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood.  They were there to learn about community schools and see for themselves how community school partnerships like the one between Shields and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) address the holistic needs of the children and families they serve.  The site visit, co-hosted by the Federation and CPS' Community Schools Initiative, was designed to provide a wide range of stakeholders with an understanding of the key functions of a community school and strategies for supporting community school implementation in their own communities.  Participants included representatives from  from United Way of Racine County, United Way of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Teachers Union, Madison School District, and Wisconsin Jobs Now. 

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Participate in National Community School Directory


The Coalition for Community Schools has created an on-line directory that will include all types of community schools and will serve as a networking tool to connect you with others building community schools in your city, state, and across the country.  This directory will offer critical information to guide our collective advocacy efforts and strengthen our local and national community school movements. 

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Recap: Community Schools 101


On February 9th nearly 50 community school professionals gathered to learn strategies for laying a solid community school foundation that supports long-term success and sustainability.

If you were able to join us, please don't forget to complete this brief evaluation. Your feedback helps us continually refine and improve our workshops.
 
Those who were unable to attend can read more below to find some of the tools and resources that were shared.

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Federation for Community Schools • 33 West Grand • Suite 300 • Chicago • IL 60654 • 312.836.0854