Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Rachel Thapa is the community school site coordinator at Lincoln Park Middle School. She has been involved with Full-Service Community Schools since 2003, and became the Lincoln Park Site Coordinator in 2016.
Q: What is something you're working on with your school right now that you're really excited about?
A: Over the past couple of years, LPMS has been working to integrate trauma informed and restorative practices into our school culture. While COVID-19 has created new challenges and opportunities for us to navigate, we remain committed to this even within our current distance learning model. I am excited about the creative ways our school community has prioritized and expressed connection and care during this time. Some examples include: collecting and sharing caring messages from community members with our students, creating care packages for our students, intentional communication with families, developing social-emotional learning activities, and offering peer support opportunities for staff and partners.
Q: How are you working with the Lincoln Park Community School Leadership Team?
A: As the community school coordinator, I help to create and maintain bridges between our school and community. Our community school site leadership team includes parents/caregivers, staff, and community partners. Most recently, members of this team have been involved with healthy food access at school and in the community, family engagement at the DCSC back to school get together event, and adapting youth programming from in-school to virtual or community-based programming (if you are interested in learning more or joining this team, contact Rachel). Our community school partners include: Healthy Northland Farm to School, True North AmeriCorps, Boys and Girls Club of the Northland, Men as Peacemakers, YWCA Girl Power, College of St. Scholastica, University of MN Duluth, University of WI Superior, Ecolibrium3, American Indian Community Housing Organization, St. Louis County Public Health, and more.
Q: Why does this work matter to you?
A: This work matters to me because I want to be part of a community and world where all people are safe, valued, and connected. I am inspired by the strength and resilience of people around me and a vision of a more hopeful future. I believe community schools can help to create the conditions of well-being necessary for all people to learn and thrive. I am committed to being part of co-creating these conditions through authentic connection and collaboration.