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Community Schools Initiative

San Mateo Park Elementary Community School Award

Empowering Communities Amplifying Voices through Community Schools 


In May 2024, the California Department of Education State Board awarded and officially approved our district’s $5 million California Community Schools Partnership Program implementation grant. Schools that were awarded funding include Laurel, Lead, San Mateo Park, and Sunnybrae Elementary Schools. Our schools were awarded this funding as part of Cohort 3 of the grant cycle.

Community School Event at SMFCSD

Now that our district has been granted over $5 million, we will empower each school’s Steering Committee and our District Steering Committee with the important task of leading the Community Schools Initiative.

This includes Fiesta Gardens International School. Although Fiesta Gardens did not receive the grant, our district will provide the community school model at Fiesta Gardens.

Our Collective Why: From the beginning, our collective goal was to increase achievement, provide more services to students, empower historically disconnected parent groups, and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects students of color in our community with the support of the four Community School Pillars.

Across two years of the planning phase spanning the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, we engaged each community school in 12 input-gathering sessions in the form of town hall presentations for a total of nearly 60 community school engagements district-wide. 

Community Schools event art SMFCSD Student Resources

This translates to over 120 hours! To date, across these two years, our community school engagements actively saw the participation of nearly 2,000 members – parents, staff, students, and community partners working to provide input and craft implementation plans. 

What’s Next: As we begin to bring the community school implementation plans alive for each community school, the steering committees will continue to meet and collaborate. Each community school will be provided a full-time Community Services Specialist who will specifically lead the community school activities at each site. Each community school will meet with after-school programs to expand after-school enrichment opportunities for students. Each community school will begin to image, design, and repurpose a space on their site to provide a Community School Center or Family Center. And each community school will continue the empowerment process via their steering committees.

Read the 2023-2024 Annual Report