Orange Park High will adopt the innovative Community Partnership Schools model

For Clay Today
Posted 12/11/19

ORANGE PARK – Orange Park High will adopt the innovative Community Partnership Schools model this year with partnerships among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Park Medical Center, …

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Orange Park High will adopt the innovative Community Partnership Schools model


ORANGE PARK – Orange Park High will adopt the innovative Community Partnership Schools model this year with partnerships among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Park Medical Center, Palms Medical Group, the Clay County School District and the St. Johns River State College.

The partnerships are announced as the next step in growing the successful model first implemented at Evans High in Orlando in 2012 and again in Clay County at Wilkinson Junior High and Keystone Heights Junior and Senior highs.

Based on a highly successful initiative launched in New York City, the Community Partnership Schools model requires the core partners – the school district, a healthcare provider, a nonprofit organization and a college or university – to commit their support to the school and community for 25 years, impacting a generation.

Through the Community Partnership Schools model founded by CHS, Orange County Public Schools and University of Central Florida, core partners – in collaboration with local nonprofits, businesses, the faith community and other stakeholders – work within the schools to address key barriers to learning including poverty, food insecurity, lack of affordable healthcare, behavioral health services, and elevated rates of violence and crime, in addition to other issues as identified.

Orange Park High School received $80,000 in state grant funds after being selected by UCF’s Center for Community Schools to launch community partnership schools.

"We are thrilled to have another one of our school communities selected for this amazing initiative. The Community Partnership Schools Model has transformed the way we provide services in specific areas within our communities and allowed us to expand additional partnerships to assist our students and families,” said Addison Davis, the Clay County Schools superintendent. “The resources provided through this model gives Clay County Schools the ability to develop the whole child, which further promotes academic achievement. I look forward to seeing how this model and these partnerships impact the Orange Park community."

“CHS along with our partners have made a long-term commitment to the families and surrounding community of Orange Park High School.” said Tracy McDade, Children’s Home Society of Florida Regional Executive Director. “With the Community Partnership School model, we will bring the right solutions to help these students reach their full potential.”

The first step toward implementation is the planning phase, which includes a community needs assessment. Students, teachers, parents and community members identify their primary needs and challenges, the results of which will determine the services and solutions that will be brought into the school.

“St. Johns River State College is committed to extending the College beyond its traditional offerings. The community partnership school model aligns perfectly with our mission, and SJR State looks forward to continuing its partnership and collaborations to connect Clay County students with resources and educational opportunities,” said SJR State spokesperson Susan Kessler.

Other critical components of this model include a focus on parental and family engagement, as well as comprehensive health and wellness efforts.

“Orange Park Medical Center offers a variety of pediatric care options including a pediatric emergency room, a pediatric inpatient unit, ICU and pediatric surgery,” said Orange Park Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bradley Shumaker. “We are excited to extend our service to the community and be part of something that will make it even easier for families to stay close to home for health resources.” Dr. Shumaker says joining Children’s Home Society and Orange Park High School was an easy decision for the hospital.

“Palms Medical Group provides primary care services to patients of all ages. Palms is thrilled to be included in the partnership with CHS to provide additional services to the pediatric population. We are committed to continue to serve patients in a manner that will offer them services within the school system and that will be convenient to them and their families. Palms is looking forward to seeing the impact of this partnership in Clay County,” said Palms Medical Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Anita H. Riels.

This collaborative approach raises the academic “ground floor” by addressing key barriers to learning through counseling, medical and dental services, after-school enrichment, mentoring programs and more.

Specific successes at Evans High, A Community Partnership School include increased graduation rates, reduced disciplinary actions, improved attendance and increased parental involvement.

Since implementing the model in 2016, Jacksonville’s Edward H. White Academy of Leadership – another Community Partnership School in which CHS is a core partner – has seen a 197% decrease in disciplinary referrals, a key component of keeping kids in the classroom and ready to learn.

Orange Park High is one of six Community Partnership Schools CHS will implement in 2019. With the addition of these schools, CHS is a core partner in 18 Community Partnership Schools – more than any other entity in the state.


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