Newswise — BINGHAMTON, N.Y. − The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has selected Binghamton University Community Schools (BUCS) to receive a five-year, $1.7 million contract to become one of three regional Technical Assistance Centers (TAC) for the development and sustainability of community schools throughout New York state. These TACs will be overseen by the Office of Student Support Services.

Each TAC will provide school personnel and community partners with quality resources, guidance, training and professional development. The Binghamton University Community Schools Technical Assistance Center will support 316 districts located across the Central/Western New York regions, serving 629,858 students.

The contract is a part of a NYSED initiative to support community schools − schools that emphasize family engagement, have strong community partnerships, and provide additional supports for students and families designed to counter environmental factors that impede student achievement.

“We are delighted to receive this award and to be in a position to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner MaryEllen Elia’s vision for expanding community schools across New York state,” said Laura Bronstein, dean of Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA). Bronstein is the principal investigator for the contract and oversees Binghamton University Community Schools.

“Community schools are among the most effective means to promote equity so that all New York students have the supports they need to graduate and succeed in college, life and career,” Bronstein added.

Using schools as hubs, community schools bring educators, families and community partners together to offer a range of opportunities, supports and services to children and youth, as well as their families and communities. Community schools:

  • provide expanded learning opportunities that are motivating and engaging during the school day, after school and in the summer;
  • offer essential health and social supports and services; and
  • engage families and communities as assets in the lives of their children and youth.

“Community schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone. They have a climate and culture that enable students to develop cognitive, social, emotional, physical, civic and ethical competencies and the capacity to thrive in college, career and life,” said Elizabeth Anderson, director for the Central/Western Region Community TAC and CCPA associate professor.

A new website has been established to provide a centralized location for resources and support to all involved in community schools work. “We are excited to have a website that provides a centralized location for resources and support for all of those involved in Community Schools,” said Luann Kida, director for Binghamton University Community Schools. “Not only will this website offer support, it will help make connections throughout New York state and beyond.”

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