To celebrate Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week, we interviewed each of our coordinators about some of the important work they are taking on right now. Dani Smilanich has been the Community School Coordinator at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School since 2019.
Q: What is something you’re working on with your school right now that you’re really excited about?
A: I am currently working on our asset needs assessment for Myers-Wilkins. We haven't had a hard look at our community school goals in over 10 years, and so much has changed since then. I have gathered feedback from staff and families, and it is exciting to hear what they love about their schools. This asset needs assessment will help the Collaborative to coordinate programs and partners that students, families, and school staff want and need at Myers-Wilkins.
Q: How are you working with the Myers-Wilkins Community School Leadership Team?
Currently, the Myers Leadership Team is helping to gather more families to be a part of our team. Staff have identified family engagement as a big need at our school. Going forward we are going to find new ways and refresh old ways of engaging our families.
Q: Why does this work matter to you?
It's all about what is best for kids, looking at the whole child approach. Community Schools isn't just focusing on academics and what other resources we need to improve test scores. We focus on what opportunities we can take to improve not just students' academics, but also their social emotional skills, athletics, arts, and more.