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Pittsburgh Urban Media One on One: Monté Robinson

Pittsburgh Urban Media One on One: Monté Robinson, LPC, Community Schools Coordinator, Office of the Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

PUM: Pittsburgh Public Schools has demonstrated its commitment to family and community engagement by creating the Family, Youth and Community Engagement team. The team which you are a part of exists within the Office of the Superintendent. Please tell us more about your role with PPS and how are you making a difference?

Robinson:  I serve as the Community Schools Coordinator here at PPS. As the Community Schools Coordinator my role is the coordinate the Community Schools strategy across the district including the facilitation of the district Community Schools Steering Committee, management of the Community Schools Site Managers, development and implementation of the Community Schools standard operating procedures, and the sustainability and growth of the strategy. 

I am making a difference by leveraging my years experiences with Community Schools and willingness to learn and implement best practices to ensure that the PPS Community Schools strategy is addressing the needs of our students, families, and communities.

PUM: The Community Schools model is designed to help eliminate barriers to academic achievement. What is the philosophy behind this approach and what additional initiatives are on the horizon for this model?

Robinson:  The philosophy behind the Community Schools approach is that schools are best suited to serve as community hubs for students and families to receive needed supports in the areas of academics, enrichment, health and social supports, youth and community development and family engagement. Also, that schools can serve as hubs for collaboration and partnerships between community service agencies, businesses / corporations, high education institutions, medical institutions, school-based staff, students, families, and the greater community.  

Regarding new initiatives are Community School Site Managers are working daily with school-based staff, students, families, and community stakeholders to develop partnerships and initiatives to meet the needs of the school community. Without going into specifics, we are in the process of developing new initiatives at the school-based level in the areas of student academics supports, mentoring services, school based dental and optical services, vocational career training and readiness, and adult basic education.

PUM: How do you manage this process and how do you measure if the community services are working for students?

Robinson: I manage the process by meeting with the Community Schools Site Managers regularly, who are responsible for facilitating the implementation and management of the Community Schools strategy at the school-based level; working with them to ensure that the Community Schools standard operating procedures are being implemented with fidelity. We are in the initial stages of developing protocol and procedures that are uniformed across all Designated Community Schools. This allow for efficient, effective, and sustainable management of the model long term.

Regarding, measuring services provided to students, we hold monthly Community Schools partner meetings with our partner agencies; the agenda items include, but are not limited to, discussing student service updates, program and services attendance, best practices, potential collaborations, barriers and growth areas, and support needed.

We also require our partner agencies to submit their monthly program attendance and complete a monthly services update form. Additionally, we partnered with the PPS Out of School Time Office to obtain all partner agencies’ logic models which outlines their service goals and measurable outcomes.

Utilizing the data that we collect from partners allows us to determine the impact and effectiveness of services provided to students. We also collect qualitive data via program observations.

Read more at Pittsburgh Urban Media, PUM One on One: Monté Robinson, LPC, Community Schools Coordinator, Office of the Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools