Cephas applauds decision to designate Samuel Gompers Elementary School as a community school

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., said she is excited that the Samuel Gompers Elementary School, located in the 192nd Legislative District, has become part of the second cohort of neighborhood schools selected to become a community school.

Community schools are public schools with a full-time coordinator who works with the entire school community to identify and meet the needs of the whole child. School coordinators attempt to address barriers students face at home and in school. This includes increasing access to medical services, expanding after-school programs, as well as providing opportunities for job training. Community schools ultimately identify resources to address the out-of-school needs of students to reduce the demands of school staff and to improve the academic performance of the students.

“Samuel Gompers Elementary School being selected to become a community school is a victory for our community,” Cephas said. “This new partnership will bring in programs and resources needed to ensure that we are addressing the issues our children and their families face in a holistic way. With institutions like St. Joseph University and Science Leadership Academy High School in the immediate area, this opportunity has the potential to create a pipeline for our students to achieve academic success. Investments and strategic alignments like these are instrumental to improving the quality of our neighborhoods and finally gives our students the education they deserve.”

Samuel Gompers Elementary School, traditionally an elementary school, will now be required to expand to accept eighth grade students. The school will have a Community School Committee to work with the full-time coordinator and school leadership to implement a strategic plan tailored to meet its needs. The CSC will consist of students, families, faculty, community members and service providers to support and advise the coordinator.

“It was my pleasure to encourage Gompers Elementary School to apply to become part of the community school network,” Cephas said. “With 68 percent of enrolled students coming from economically disadvantaged households and only 27 percent of students scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced proficient’ on standardized tests, the Samuel Gompers Elementary School needed more than a great principal and exceptional teachers. I am confident that the community school approach will drastically improve the quality of the school.”

Community schools acknowledge that many students have a hard time succeeding in the classroom due to barriers they face at home. These barriers include violence, hunger and homelessness. Communities schools seek to tear down these barriers by identifying those resources that help address out-of-school factors and connect home, school, and community in a way that allow students to reach their full potential.

For more information, please contact Rep. Cephas’ district office at 215-879-6625.