Friday, December 1, 2023
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HomeNewsPCS leads focus groups as next phase of community-school project

PCS leads focus groups as next phase of community-school project

Plumas Charter School reports moving into the next phase of aligning with a community-school model with October meetings. Rhonda Wayson, PCS community resource coordinator, along with Angela Chiarenza from Tactileworx, conducted focus groups and met with PCS administrators, teachers, students, and board members to gain feedback and chart the roadmap for the future.

Focusing on the four-pillar model of community schools, groups discussed the areas of strengths and opportunities. Students in third through twelfth grade discussed what makes them successful and what improvements they would like to see at their school sites.

Wayson said that she is in the process of analyzing the data and feedback, and that a few key themes have already emerged. One consistent comment was that students attribute their success to their flexible, caring, fun, and dedicated teachers. Students also emphasized that they are interested in more extracurricular activities and expanded career and technical education opportunities, specifically in culinary arts. “It’s all great feedback to help us see our opportunities for growth,” said Wayson.

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PCS reports that it received funding from the California Community Schools Partnership Program to fill the community resource coordinator position, plan the approach to becoming more community school aligned and to sustain new and existing programs. A community school is any school serving prekindergarten through high school students using a whole-child approach, with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement.

The CCSPP grant lays out four pillars of success. The first pillar, integrated student support, emphasizes the coordination of resources to support student success with a whole-child approach. The second pillar, family and community engagement, aims to create authentic engagement by tapping into the knowledge and expertise of family and community members. The third pillar is collaborative leadership and practices with the goal of transforming school culture through professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility. The fourth pillar, extended learning times and opportunities, highlights academic support, enrichment, and real-world learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting and school day.

Ultimately, PCS said, the school will work to eliminate barriers children may have to reaching their full academic and personal potential. Continuing in the planning phase, Wayson is scheduling focus groups and one-on-one meetings with PCS parents and community agencies to gain feedback and gather additional needs and assets data. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to email Wayson at rwayson@plumascharterschool.org to get involved.

Information submitted by Plumas Charter School

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