Cultivating a Future of Engaged Learners
The Duluth Community School Collaborative is a nonprofit that partners with Duluth Public Schools to provide Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) at Myers-Wilkins Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle, and Denfeld High schools. We believe that family, school, and community engagement are necessary to create opportunity for all young people to achieve their full human potential. To that end, we create the conditions necessary to make quality engagement possible. We coordinate community partners and directly provide programming including academic enrichment, arts and cultural, recreation and physical activity, social emotional learning, health and basic needs, family and community engagement, and employment readiness.
Originally created to address inequities within the Hillside neighborhood schools, the Duluth Community School Collaborative was the first in the state of Minnesota to adopt a Full-Service Community School (FSCS) model. This model is considered a leading place-based equity strategy in the education reform movement. The Duluth Community School Collaborative (DCSC) was founded in 1999 at Grant Elementary School and incorporated in 2001 as a 501(c)(3). Neighbors and educators in the community founded the organization (formerly known as Grant Community School Collaborative and later Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative) in one of the more impoverished areas of the city through a grassroots campaign of advocacy and resource development. Because of its success in achieving desired outcomes and due to alignment with District-wide goals, in 2015 we began exploring the expansion of the full-service community school model to additional schools. Lincoln Park Middle School then joined the Collaborative in 2016, and Denfeld High School in 2017.
Poverty’s impact on children often leads to academic under-performance and limited access to the educational, social, and cultural enrichment opportunities that keep youth intellectually and creatively engaged. The Duluth Community School Collaborative builds intentional partnerships with community organizations and individuals in order to support academic success and well-being of the whole child. Knowing that poverty’s negative impact on children, their families, and neighborhoods is profound and multifaceted, we seek to improve access to services and supports that contribute to student achievement by providing FSCS benefits within Myers-Wilkins, Lincoln Park and Denfeld Schools. The impact of these services extends far beyond the walls of the school, benefiting neighborhoods, partner organizations, businesses and the City of Duluth.
Watch this video to learn more about the Duluth Community School Collaborative from the perspective of parents, school staff, and other community stakeholders.