Submitted by TOGETHER!
The Olympia School District and TOGETHER!’s Community Schools Program are excited to announce the launch of a partnership this year to help ensure students get the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.
The Community Schools Initiative works to address the needs of the whole child by leveraging partners and resources in the following areas:
- Basic Needs
- Physical Health
- Family Engagement
- Community and Service Learning
TOGETHER! Community Schools Case Managers are assigned to OSD middle and high schools to help support students and families. Already this fall case managers, in partnership with school staff, have assisted students with supports such as homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing of families experiencing homelessness, distribution of more than 350 holiday meal boxes to students and families in the district, provision of direct 1:1 support for over 30 families, and support for existing and expanded after-school programs and lunchtime support and enrichment activities.
“We are so appreciative of our partnership with the TOGETHER! Community Schools program,” said Superintendent Patrick Murphy. “TOGETHER! staff, in partnership with OSD employees in our middle and high schools, are working hard to remove educational barriers for some of our most vulnerable students by connecting them and their families to critical educational and community-based resources. These supports, often as basic as food, clothing and transportation, are critical to our students’ overall success.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the need for initiatives that partner with students and families farthest from educational justice,” said TOGETHER! Executive Director Meagan Darrow. “We are proud to partner with OSD to address both the concrete needs of students and families while also improving the system of care for students and families in schools. We aim to bridge the gap between schools and community resources and social services to increase the equitable distribution of tailored supports to improve learning and belonging in the Olympia Schools.”
To learn more about the program at each school, visit the TOGETHER! Partnership webpages on each school website:
- Jefferson Middle School
- Thurgood Marshall Middle School
- Reeves Middle School
- Washington Middle School
- Capital High School
- Olympia High School
- Olympia Regional Learning Academy
Using schools as hubs, Community Schools bring a range of community supports and opportunities, and remove barriers for students and families, resulting in improved student learning, and healthier communities. The Community Schools program is one of three core services offered by TOGETHER!, a 30+ year old nonprofit on a mission to advance the health and wellbeing of all young people. For questions about the program, please contact TOGETHER!’s Olympia Community Schools Director Michael Dennis at MDennis@ThurstonTOGETHER.org or 360.819.0277. To learn more about how Community Schools advances educational justice, check out our short video.