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Waite Community School MOU Frequently Asked Questions

Waite Middle School Community School MOU

FACT SHEET (5/8/23)

1 - What is the Community School Initiative (CSI)?

According to the California Community Schools Partnership Program Framework, a community school is any TK-12 school serving students using a whole-child approach, with “an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement.” 

Community school initiatives (CSI) are a school improvement strategy that enables the school to collaborate with parents,  students, educators and community members to understand and address the unique needs, assets, and aspirations of the school community. (CCSPP Framework 2022) 

The goal is to improve student outcomes by addressing students’ academic, cognitive, physical, mental, and social-emotional needs. It is essential to tap into the expertise and knowledge of parents and community members to serve as true partners in supporting and educating students.

2 - Why are Community Schools needed?

Many schools and districts are thinking about how to better serve families in the face of recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the California Department of Education (CDE), “Community school strategies can be an effective approach to mitigate the academic and social impacts of current events, improve school responsiveness to student and family needs, and to organize school and community resources to address barriers to learning.” 

Shared leadership is the foundation of all community schools. In addition,  community schools meet the needs of children and youth by building a positive school climate and trusting relationships, along with rich learning opportunities that prepare all students to succeed in college, career, and life. (CCSPP Framework 2022)

3 - How are Community Schools funded?

Our Community Schools at John Glenn and Waite are funded through grants via LACOE from the Department of Mental Health (Waite) and California Department of Education's California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) from 2022-23 to 2026-27 (John Glenn).

4 - How was Waite selected?

John Glenn High School has been a Community School since 2019. Waite MS is a feeder school into JGHS. In order to serve the families and provide smooth transitions into the supports at JGHS, Waite was identified as the next school to receive the services. 

5 - What is the cost to the district?

There is no cost for the district for the Waite MS Community School Initiative.

6 - Is the District receiving any money to participate in this initiative?

No, the District is not receiving any funds to participate. The Waite and John Glenn Community Schools Initiative Programs are funded through grants that the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) has received.

7 - What kind of services will be provided as part of the Community School Initiative?

Each community school designs their own approach and programs to support the whole child and partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) and local government agencies to align community resources to  achieve the shared vision for success. 

Once the MOU is approved, the staff members from LACOE will work with the Waite MS community partners to conduct a thorough needs and assets assessment.  Examples of services are parent training/workshops, food distribution opportunities, mental health services, connection to medical health services (i.e. workshops with Covered California). 

8 - Will a Wellbeing Center be placed at Waite?

No, there are no plans to implement a Wellbeing Center at Waite MS.

9 - Does introducing the CSI to Waite MS mean expanding sexual health services from John Glenn HS to Waite?

No, there will be no expansion of sexual health services from JGHS to Waite.

10 - Will sexual health services be provided at Waite?

No sexual health services will be provided to Waite Middle School students. However, there may be workshops for parents regarding sexual health if determined as a need by the community during the needs assessment process.

11 - What’s the difference between a Wellbeing Center and a Wellness Center?

In NLMUSD, all of our middle and high schools have a Wellness Center which is managed by a Wellness Specialist (a school social worker or a family therapist hired by NLMUSD) and provides a safe, relaxing environment for students who are experiencing stress and mental health challenges. Wellness Specialists also provide group and individual interventions to students with parent consent. Our Wellness Specialists collaborate with staff to provide workshops and training for parents, staff and students.

A Wellbeing Center is different from a Wellness Center. The Wellbeing Center at John Glenn HS is provided through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and has a three-pronged approach. The focus of the WBC is substance use prevention, mental health support  and sexual health education and support over-the-counter emergency contraception (Plan B), and sexual health information for students. The WBC is open two days a week and LACDPH Masters Level Health Educators are present to support students on those days.

There are no plans to implement a Wellbeing Center at any of our middle schools.

Additional resources:

  1. Los Angeles County Office of Education - Community Schools Homepage
  2. Community Schools Fact Sheet
  3. California Community Schools Partnership Program - High School (CA Dept of Education)
  4. CCSPP Framework (2022) ccsppframework.docx
  5. Community Schools” - Video by California Teachers Association
"What is a Community School?" - Video by Partnership for the Future of Learning