Community-schools grant addresses student needs

Community-schools grant addresses student needs
Posted on 09/11/2023

Describing Rhonda Wayson’s new role as the community resource coordinator for Plumas Charter School takes slightly longer than a one-minute elevator pitch or a written two-sentence job description. Becoming a California Community School encompasses a wide range of important pieces including community partnership, and some background information is beneficial.

PCS created the community resource coordinator position this school year thanks to funding from the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) grant that they received. The California Department of Education launched the CCSPP as a response to COVID-19 impact and challenges that schools and students continue to face. The program’s goal is to create a cohesive approach to ensure student success, better address the needs of students in terms of their cognitive and social development, emotional well-being and overall learning experience to provide equity and accessibility to all. 

Wayson brings 30 years of experience working in positions that support children and families to her new role. She has spent 25 of those years in Plumas County while raising her two children, 21 and 17. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a masters in human development and family studies and before coming to Plumas Charter School, she was a student services coordinator at Plumas Unified School District. 

“PCS is already doing a number of things that describe a community school,” said Wayson. Examples include the PCS therapy team that ensures accessible counseling services to all, school culture-building activities like school assemblies, the after-school program and athletic teams. 

 She summarized the community school approach as building strong, trusting relationships, engaging in inclusive decision making and creating a thriving school community, in an effort to create ‘whole child’ support for every student. Wayson said she is excited to get started and for the process to be thorough and effective. “We are fortunate to have one-to-two years of grant funding for the assessment and planning process. This isn’t a race to get everything implemented ASAP, we are allowed the time to be collaborative and thoughtful.”

Because every county, town and school are unique, each community school will approach the process a little differently. To ensure cohesion among grant recipients, CCSPP outlines four main pillars of focus; integrated student supports, active family and community engagement, expanded and enriched learning times and opportunities and collaborative leadership and practices. For more details about each pillar of success, visit 

Ultimately, PCS will work to eliminate barriers children
may have to reaching their full academic and personal potential. In the planning stage, Wayson will be meeting with PCS administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents and community agencies to gain feedback and help to gather data to better assist with school needs to create a school culture of belonging, safety and care. If you or your organization is interested in serving on the community-school advisory committee, please contact Rhonda Wayson at [email protected].

By Rachel Goings, Public Relations Specialist  [email protected]
In the photo: Rhonda Wayson is a new employee at Plumas Charter School, taking on the new grant-funded role of community resource coordinator.