Is there a way to make school the center of a young person’s life? To make schools the centers of their neighborhoods? To make teachers, parents, students, business people, doctors, and City government full and happy partners in public education in the St. Louis Public School District?
We’ll see, because those are the goals of the newly designated “Full Service Schools” envisioned by the St. Louis Public Schools Division of Community Education. The Division’s John Windom calls such schools the community’s best effort to achieve great educational and social outcomes for each enrolled student.
Beginning this year, thirteen Full Service Schools will begin to offer a variety of resources including family support to assist with child rearing, employment, housing and other issues; medical, dental, and mental health services; and the active, coordinated involvement of college faculty and students, business people, youth workers, and others. These community services providers will be housed inside each Full Service School, or closely linked to it.
The 13 schools, which will include Vashon High School and Shaw VPA Elementary, are supposed to represent all our best efforts to provide a good, free education within the public school district. Their success will prove something.
The first day of classes district-wide is August 20. Mark that date.