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Department Official Visits Community Schools in Chicago

Resource type: News

U.S. Department of Education |

(This media advisory was released on July 7th, 2010)  U.S. Department of Education’s Alberto Retana, director of community outreach, will visit Chicago Public Schools’ Orozco Academy and Perspectives-Calumet Middle School to interact with students and parents who are benefitting from the schools’ community resources and summer programs Wednesday, July 7, from 12 noon – 2:30 p.m.  

Retana will learn from parents and students about programs that have led to increased attendance, decreased numbers of serious disciplinary incidents and referrals, and increased access to mental and physical health care at Orozco Academy.  He will also sample healthy choices from a new lunch menu debuting this fall.   At Perspectives-Calumet, Retana will discuss the impact of violence and the effects of new safety programs with middle schoolers, tour a school-based health clinic, and see a basketball and mentorship summer program in action.  

Both schools are full-service community schools, which develop partnerships with community organizations to provide comprehensive services and supports for children and young adults, a concept embraced by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan when he was the CEO of Chicago Public Schools.  Later this summer, the U.S. Department of Education will award $10 million in first-year funding for Promise Neighborhoods grants that will fund the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.

The visits are hosted by The Federation for Community School, which works to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations who support community schools throughout Illinois, and serves as a clearinghouse for community school best practices and facilitate the professional networking of community school practitioners.  Orozco Academy and Perspectives-Calumet Middle School are part of the Elev8 community schools initiative funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, aimed specifically at meeting the needs of middle schoolers and establishing strong foundations for their transition to high school and beyond.

Elev8 is an Atlantic Grantee