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Whole Educational Community Collaborations to Reimagine School

Whole Educational Community Collaborations to Reimagine School Blog Post featured photo showing chalkboard, apple, books, mask and hand sanitizer

School does not exist in a vacuum, especially during a pandemic.

It takes a village to raise a child. We’ve always known this to be true.

“When families, communities and schools work together, students are more successful and the entire community benefits,” according to the US Department of Education.

Whole Educational Community

The COVID-19 pandemic has only illuminated the importance of synergy within the Whole Educational Community. The walls that used to firmly separate home from school were initially knocked down for some time, longer in some areas than others.

The Whole Educational Community: A student's experience of "School" includes Educators, the Community, and Parents & Guardians. elevatEd Classrooms logo in corner.
The Whole Educational Community: School is a system that includes strategic collaboration between multiple community parties.

While these minimal boundaries exposed countless emotions, hopefully in the end, empathy has been achieved for our fellow community members now that we’ve had a sneak peak onto their side of the wall. 

Teachers in 2020-21 have had to reimagine their relationship and communication with their students, other teachers, administrative leadership, and families at the bare minimum. 

I have collaborated with fellow Teachers on ways to improve what we do for and with the students. I will always come back to the point of love and care. We have to develop and grow that between us and our students before anything else will work. The system fails our students often, but the part that I can control, my relationship with them, has to be a win.

Quincey Smith, Teacher, Oakland Military Institute, Oakland, CA

Students need positive relationships for healthy development – we’ve always known that. But maybe this pandemic has exposed the importance of positive relationships for adults as well.

Family in distance learning and working from home with handheld devices and shared HotSpots. You can see Educators and classmates on the student device screen.
Diverse audiences collaborate within the Whole Educational Community remotely.

Now as we slowly start to rebuild some of those walls, perhaps we put more thought and purpose into the placement of new bricks. How is this action going to affect someone else?

School is not just a place, school is a system.

School is a community. School is the intersection of multiple communities. School is the Whole Educational Community.

The purpose of school also goes beyond depositing knowledge into students’ brains. Approximately 3 out of every 4 American students relied on the meals they received at school for free or reduced price lunch during 2020 (76.9%). In addition to education and food, for many students, school was their only source of physical activity, health care, mental health care, and so much more!

School has to be a whole-person experience.  I mean that we have got to give up on thinking that school is just the old school three R’s. The pandemic has taught us that the School is Everything for a lot of our students.  Education has to view the school as a place of love, healing, mental health assistance, nutrition services, physical health, fun, and many more components as well. 

Quincey Smith, Teacher, Oakland Military Institute, Oakland, CA

Even the CDC has recommended strategic collaboration amongst the Whole Educational Community. The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, CDC’s Healthy Schools framework “emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement.” 

The 10 Components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC):

  1. Physical education and physical activity
  2. Nutrition environment and services
  3. Health education
  4. Social and emotional climate
  5. Physical environment
  6. Health services
  7. Counseling, psychological and social services
  8. Employee wellness
  9. Community involvement
  10. Family engagement

elevatEd Classrooms coined the phrase Whole Educational Community back in summer 2020 because we recognized the need for synergy and collaborative partnerships within and between community parties. 

elevatEd Classrooms understands that school does not exist in a vacuum. We recognize the need to engage the diverse individual partner audiences within the Whole Educational Community, as well as facilitate collaboration between parties to strategically plan to Reimagine School as a whole.

Connect with Jaclyn from elevatEd Classrooms to synergize and elevate your Whole Educational Community today!

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Paula Blanco, MAT

Paula Blanco is currently a bilingual  kindergarten teacher at a dual-immersion school. Paula first received a bachelor’s degree in foreign language teaching and in infant education. Paula found her passion teaching and went back for a MAT Spanish (teaching Spanish as a second language).  After her education, Paula moved from Spain to the United States. Ms. Blanco is an experienced teacher with 9+ years of classroom experience.

Amiee Masters Altman, MsEd

Aimee Masters Altman is currently a middle school language arts teacher in southern New Jersey.  As a teacher with over 13 years experience, she has worked as a Kindergarten-6th grade Library-Media Specialist, a 3rd grade inclusion teacher, as well as a middle school language arts teacher.  Mrs. Altman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in health and medicine and a minor in Women’s Studies.  During her time at UPenn, she found her passion for teaching while working the Extended School Year program for students with special needs.  She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy with a certification as a Reading Specialist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Education.  She continued her education for a Library-Media Specialist certification at Rutgers University.  Mrs. Altman has sat on many committees to analyze, select, and write curriculum.

Korey Sewell, PhD

Dr. Korey Sewell , founder of Hands-On Technology Education, is a professional engineer and educator specializing in Computer Science & Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (2012) and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside (2004). His professional background consists of work at places such as Intel, Apple, Qualcomm and MIPS Technologies with interests in Microprocessors, CPU Workloads, and Simulation Methodology. As an educator, Dr. Sewell aspires for Hands-On Technology to continue to fulfill its mission of empowering the K-12 demographic with innovative, practical, and affordable technology-based activities (summer camps, workshops, and after-school programs).

Jacqueline Masters, EDS, MA

Jacqueline received her Ed.S and M.A. degree in School Psychology from Rowan University and her B.S. degree in Psychology from Drexel University. She is currently certified in New Jersey and practices full time in the public school system. She has been working with the elementary and middle school students for 6+ years. She works to consult and collaborate with teachers, parents, and students to maximize their education and social experience. Additionally she completes cognitive and behavioral assessments as part of the Special Education process. She specializes in educating students, teachers, and parents on a variety of disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, Autism, Specific Learning Disabilities, as well mood disorders and various developmental disorders.