Today’s guest post is written by Ken Wenglewski, Manager of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Last month, Ken had a chance to see firsthand the challenges and rewards of running a public school. We thought his experience was a great way to show how people can create and maintain links between schools and the neighborhoods.
On April 5th, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Tulsa Public Schools’ “Principal for a Day” at Rogers High School, under the leadership of Stacey Vernon. Stacey was awarded Principle of the Year so it was an honor to shadow her work.
Coming to Rogers was a bit surreal. My wife attended Rogers so walking the halls was very nostalgic.
My day started by working with the Assistant Principal Kendra Bremlett. We talked about her role as support for Stacey. We also spoke of the exciting things that will be happening this Fall with the implementation of College Summit; one of our department’s educational partners.
Later, Stacy took over and we met with April Dalto, a science teacher who had her class cook hotdogs with natural sunlight. The class was energetic, engaged and very creative.
Back in Stacy’s office, I was offered the opportunity to communicate through an Auto-dialer system called School Connects. I read a script out loud, on the phone, telling parents to show up at a bowling event. I had a blast sounding like a DJ for a radio station!
There was another memorable moment back at Stacey’s office. She has a pinball machine in the back office that she likes to use when she isn’t buried in instructional leadership duties. Needless to say, it isn’t used very often.
To that point, the most amazing thing that I observed with Stacey was her ability to know all of the students by name. (more…)
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Brent Isaacs, AICP, Research Specialist for Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives, is our September guest blogger.
At the end of August, CAP’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives was pleased to host Michael Schubert, Principal of Community Development Strategies in Chicago to discuss issues related to the Kendall-Whittier Promise Neighborhoods effort. Mike came to us by way of NeighborWorks America, an organization of which CAP is pleased to be a network member. Following our visit, he sent us a paper he wrote entitled Schools and Neighborhood Revitalization: An Invitation to New Thinking (Schools and Neighborhood Revitalization.pdf).
I was struck by the tone of this paper because it approached the subject from the perspective of whether neighborhood revitalization contributes to school improvement or academic achievement. Most of the literature that I have read is from the opposite perspective: how improving neighborhood schools assists in neighborhood revitalization. Clearly, while there is a symbiotic relationship between neighborhoods and schools that is not often understood, CAP’s primary interest is in the former perspective. (more…)
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I haven’t had the time to read all 118(!) pages of this report, but I wanted to share it before it gets swallowed by the paper monster that is my desk right now. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published Putting Data to Work: Data-Driven Approaches to Strengthening Neighborhoods.
The report looks at how communities are building and using data systems to target resources. Individual sections are written by authors from The Urban Institute, LISC, Brookings, The Reinvestment Fund, and other organizations. The report is part of a broader effort from the Federal Reserve, Urban Institute, The Reinvestment Fund, and LISC to “help communities develop the infrastructure and data sources they need to make strategic policy decisions with respect to neighborhood stabilization.”
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