Focus groups; next phase of CCSPP grant

Focus groups; next phase of CCSPP grant
Posted on 10/30/2023

Plumas Charter School moved into the next phase of aligning with a community-school model with October meetings. Rhonda Wayson, community resource coordinator and Angela Chiarenza from Tactileworx conducted focus groups and met with PCS administrators, teachers, students and the school board to gain feedback and chart the roadmap for the future. 

Focusing on the four-pillar model of community schools, groups discussed the areas of strengths and opportunities. Third through twelfth-graders discussed what makes them successful and what improvements they would like to see at their school sites.

Wayson said that she is in the process of analyzing the data and feedback, and that a few key themes have already emerged. One consistent comment was that students attribute their success to their flexible, caring, fun and dedicated teachers. Students also emphasized that they are interested in more extracurricular activities and expanded career and technical education opportunities, specifically, culinary arts. “It’s all great feedback to help us see our opportunities for growth,” said Wayson. 

PCS received funding from the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) to fill the community resource coordinator position, plan the approach to becoming more community school aligned and to sustain new and existing programs. A community school is any school serving pre-kindergarten through high school students using a whole-child approach, with an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement. 

The CCSPP grant lays out four pillars of success. The first pillar, integrated student support emphasizes the coordination of resources to support student success with a whole child approach. The second pillar, family and community engagement, aims to create authentic engagement by tapping into the knowledge and expertise of family and community members. The third pillar is collaborative leadership and practices with the goal of transforming school culture through professional learning, collective trust and shared responsibility. The fourth and final pillar, extended learning times and opportunities, achieves academic support, enrichment and real-world learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting and school day. 

Ultimately, PCS will work to eliminate barriers children may have to reaching their full academic and personal potential. Continuing in the planning phase, Wayson is scheduling focus groups and one-on-one meetings with PCS parents and community agencies to gain feedback and gather additional needs and assets data.  Interested stakeholders are encouraged to email Wayson at [email protected] to get involved.

By Rachel Goings, Public Relations Specialist  [email protected] _________________________________________ In the top photo: Angela Chiarenza from Tactileworx gets students involved in the planning process. Photo by Taletha Washburn.