While a rigorous classroom environment that supports the learning styles of each student promotes academic excellence, it is also essential that students’ basic needs are met so that they are present both physically and mentally for classroom learning. To achieve this, Children’s Aid provides CACPCS with integrated services, which it has identified and refined through 25 years of community school work. As a strategy for organizing school and community resources around student success, community schools respond to the documented strengths and needs of children and their families. All Children’s Aid community schools fulfill core strategic functions and offer responsive, results-oriented supports and services in four key domains: education, social emotional, health, and family and home. The strategy aims to effect whole-school change (attendance, wellness, climate/culture), as well as to improve individual student and family outcomes. Children’s Aid provides the following services delivered by key Children’s Aid personnel to CACPCS through private fundraising and/or in-kind.
Together, the Thoughtful Classroom approach and community school strategy ensure the holistic and unique needs of each student at CACPCS are met. Teachers develop effective toolboxes from which to draw and identify strategies that will best support a variety of students both individually and collectively. They further receive support for developing these strategies from school leadership, including the academic deans and principal, as well as by working with their peers. Not only are our teachers fully supported, so too are the holistic needs of the students entrusted to our care: their social-emotional well-being is tended to by the life coaches who join teachers in the classroom, while all other aspects of their health are supported by the provision of services from our community school partner, Children’s Aid.