Possible ‘Full-Service Community School’ To Duluth
Lincoln Park Middle School Could See Additional Services
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There’s a strong push by some Minnesota lawmakers to redefine what a school should provide to its community.
This would include integrating services like the local zoo, YMCA, and hospital into a student’s school day.
One of those potential schools is Lincoln Park Middle School in Duluth.
A bill co–authored by Representative Mary Murphy to fund these so–called “full–service community schools” is headed to committee next week.
The best way to describe it is a “smart school,” similar to a smart phone.
The vision is for these schools to become the center of the community.
It would offer new services like medical care, dental care, tutoring from local university students, and after-school activities with the YMCA.
The goal is to extend the school day, by placing all necessary services in the school, and helping parents rest assured their child’s needs are fully covered.
“For them to know that they don’t have to worry about insurance or where that money’s coming from, and that somebody’s there to support them, and provide services during the school day for their kids, then they don’t have to make appointments, they don’t have to pull kids out of school,” said President of the Duluth Federation of Teachers Bernie Burnham.
If the bill is passed, the school would get an evaluation of the district.
Then, a site coordinator would work, for example, with the Lincoln Park Middle School, to bring in those outside services from the community.
“Once the needs are assessed for the community that is surrounding the school, then the school, with the help of a site coordinator, will leverage public and private partnerships to come in and help bring those services to the school,” said Denise Specht, President of Education Minnesota.
Right now, Myers–Wilkins is one of the only full–service community schools identified by The National Coalition of Community Schools.
Being that Myers–Wilkins is a feeder school into Lincoln Park, the district is confident this full–service approach will be successful.
Officials at Lincoln Park have already been meeting with parents and students to discuss what they’d like to see if lawmakers pass this bill.