From FMP to CLC
The concept of Community Learning Centers began in 2002 with a $1 billion Facilities Master Plan, largely funded by taxpayers, to construct new or fully renovated school buildings throughout the district. At each school, CPS engaged a cross section of stakeholders called the Local School Decision Making Committee, (community leaders, parents, school staff, neighborhood non-profit groups and businesses), to develop a shared vision and to plan for partnerships and programs that would meet needs of students, families and communities. This plan became the blueprint for the design of each new CPS school as a CLC.
Over the past ten years, this CLC model has drawn national attention for successfully engaging community partnerships in school buildings. CLCs offer health services, counseling, afterschool programs, nutrition classes, parent/family engagement programs, early childhood education, career and college access services, youth development activities, mentoring and arts programming. The Board of Education has implemented a policy that all district school buildings be CLCs and has developed written guidelines for the establishment of partnerships. To date, 36 CLCs have full-time Resource Coordinators and CPS continues to make CLCs a district priority.
Hubs for the Community
Cincinnati Public Schools CLCs serve as hubs for community services, providing a system of integrated partnerships that promote academic excellence and offer recreational, educational, social, health, civic and cultural opportunities for students, families and community.
The goal of CLCs is to support student achievement, revitalize neighborhoods and maximize the community’s return on its investment in public schools. Each CLC includes a full-time Resource Coordinator who knows the needs of the school, families and community. Resource Coordination is key to the success of the CLC, as partnerships must be recruited, developed and supported to meet the individual needs of students, impact school success and reflect community interest. CLC partners provide programs and services that support attainment of school goals and are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
CLCs are attractive to many partners because they are an efficient means of meeting their service missions and goals. For example, health partners have discovered that school-based health centers can be sustainable business models given insurance reimbursements. Cincinnati’s CLCs now feature 20 health centers, and the OneSight Vision Center at Oyler School – which opened in October 2012 – is the first self-sustaining school-based vision center in the United States. In 2013, the first school-based childhood obesity prevention clinic opened in a CLC. All CLCs have co-located mental health partners to provide both therapeutic and prevention services. Expanded health services offered through CLCs are removing non-academic barriers and supporting student academic achievement.
CLCs have engaged more than 600 partners who provide services valued at millions of dollars to students and families. These partnerships are integrated and aligned to school goals, resulting in improved academic outcomes for CPS students.