A New Community Schools Steering Committee Seeks to Expand the Initiative

As the new 2023-24 school year began, UNITE-LA collaborated alongside its L.A. Unified and UTLA partners to appoint a new Community Schools Steering Committee (CSSC). In September, the new CSSC held its kickoff meeting, which served as an orientation for the 16 members. The new CSSC members are ignited to expand the Community Schools Initiative (CSI) by strategizing ways to recruit a fifth cohort of schools.

The 2023-24 Steering Committee is a diverse group of education leaders and community organizers, representing organizations including:

  • Selena Barajas-Ledesma, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Laura Gutierrez, Aldama Elementary School
  • Heidi Mahmud, LAUSD Office of Student, Family & Community Engagement
  • Elmer Roldan, Communities in Schools Los Angeles
  • Will Celestine, LAUSD Office of Student Health & Human Services
  • Karima Gillenwaters, LAUSD Black Student Achievement Program
  • Jimmy Kim, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks
  • Carolina Couto, Promesa Boyle Heights - Proyecto Pastoral
  • Sharon Delugach, LAUSD Board of Education District 5
  • Nicole Douglass, 74th Street Elementary School
  • Rosa Jimenez, UCLA Community School
  • Marisa Saunders, UCLA Center for Community Schooling
  • Kyle Serrette, National Education Association
  • Maria Miranda, United Teachers Los Angeles
  • Arelia Valdivia, Reclaim our Schools LA
  • Kaelin Banks, High School Student

The new CSSC members have begun proactively recruiting schools to participate in Community School information sessions and pre-boarding sessions. Ultimately, the CSSC oversees the implementation and expansion of the CSI. UNITE-LA and its convening partners of the CSSC are excited to be commencing our fifth year of implementation.

The CSSC is currently supporting 55 schools in adopting the community school model over four cohorts. This year, the CSSC will play a key role in selecting our fifth cohort of schools and reviewing the district's application to the California Community Schools Partnership Program to meet the L.A. Unified Board expansion goal of designating 70 community schools by 2025.

For more information, please reach out to Dominique Rougeau, L.A. Compact Coordinator, at [email protected].

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