De Blasio Administration Taps New Advisory Board to Help Develop New York City’s Next Wave of Community Schools

Leaders from community groups, social services, businesses and academia to hone new models for turning schools into vibrant community hubs that provide services to at-risk families

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today kicked off the planning process for a slate of new Community Schools, with a gathering of leaders from across the city who will help the City innovate ways of delivering greater services and support to at-risk families. Joined by Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the Mayor tasked the Community Schools Advisory Board with helping to enhance existing programs, raising the bar for community schools across the city, increasing parental involvement, and developing new community schools that reach families in need. The Advisory Board is composed of stakeholders from various sectors—foundations, business, education, research, health, and non-profit providers—all of which play a role in existing and new Community Schools.

Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $52 million grant by the New York State Department of Education, which will be managed in partnership with the United Way of New York City to develop 40 innovative Community Schools that will match comprehensive social services and learning programs at high-need public schools across the city. By reaching students with vitally important services, ranging from mental health support to homework help and family counseling, Community Schools have a proven track-record of helping at-risk children succeed in the classroom and beyond.

“This is a critical pillar of our strategy to lift up students and schools across this city. Combined with pre-K for all and expanded after-school programs, Community Schools are going to be a vital tool of reaching thousands of children at risk of falling behind. We are turning to the people who know how to make these models work best and have decades of experience serving communities across this city. We’re proud to have their support and are going to ensure the practices they help develop are put into action,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“There are children across this city who need more than a textbook and a teacher to learn. And I’ve see firsthand what we can achieve when we invest in the whole child. We are bringing in some of the most experienced advocates, professionals and institutions from across the city to make sure our new Community Schools have the tools, resources and innovations to set a new gold standard in holistically educating and supporting our kids,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery.

“At Community Schools, parent involvement and engagement happens every single day, embedded in every single factor of the school. I have seen parents in classrooms as volunteers, parents learning lessons so they can support their students inside and outside of school, and parents as partners to support each other—this directly impacts student engagement. This real collaboration between parents, teachers, principals and students is part of the vibrant DNA of Community Schools,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

Community School Advisory Board Members:


Organization Board Member
Advocates for Children Kim Sweet
Broome Street Academy Charter School Principal Barbara McKeon
Brown University /Annenberg Center Megan Hester
Center for Children’s Initiatives Nancy Kolben
Children’s Aid Society Community School Principal Ife Lenard
Children’s Defense Fund – NY Melanie Hartzog
Children’s Health Fund/Columbia University Karen Redlener
City Council Speaker’s Office Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
Alliance for Quality Education Zakiya Ansari
Columbia Presbyterian Dr. John S. Santelli
Council of School Supervisors & Administrators Ernest Logan
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Michelle Neugebauer
DOE Community Education Council President – D17 Nicole Job
East Bronx Academy for the Future  – 12X271 Principal Sarah Scrogin
El Puente Frances Lucerna
FoodBank NYC Margarette Purvis
Ford Foundation Sanjiv Rao
Good Shepard Services Sister Paulette LoMonaco
Harlem Children’s Zone Anne Williams-Isom
Harlem RBI Rich Berlin
Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services David Rivel
Lutheran Health Care Kathy Hopkins
Montefiore Health System Dr. David Appel
Mount Sinai Hospital Dr. Angela Diaz
National Center for Community Schools Jane Quinn
New Settlement Jack Doyle
New Visions for Public Schools Bob Hughes
New York State Cradle to Career Alliance Vanessa Threatte
NY Regents Lester Young
NY State Afterschool Network Nora Niedzielski-Eichner
P.S. 5 – The Ellen Lurie School Principal Wanda Soto
P.S. 65 – The Raymond York Elementary School Principal Rafael Morales
Partnership for NYC Kathryn Wylde
Phipps Neighborhoods Dianne Morales
Robin Hood Foundation Emary Aronson
State Assembly Speaker’s Office Speaker Sheldon Silver
State Assembly Education Committee Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan
SUNY Nancy Zimpher
TASC/ExtendED Learning Lucy Friedman
The Child Center of NY Deep Ghosh
The New School/Center for NYC Affairs Kim Nauer
Tishman Speyer Rob Speyer
Trinity Wall Street Ariella Louie
Turnaround for Children Dr. Pamela Cantor
UFT Community Schools Initiative Karen Alford
United Parents of Highbridge Ocynthia Williams
United Way of NYC Sheena Wright
YMCA – NYC Jack Lund
Youth Development Institute Sandra Escamilla-Davies


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