Community Schools



Community Schools

Community Schools are designed to be the hub of the community connecting school, students, family and community. It’s a place where students and their families as well as community members can receive services and resources.


Detroit Public Schools has designated 21 schools as Community Schools. Southwest Solutions is a key partner at 13 DPS Community Schools:

  • Ann Arbor Trail Magnet Elementary-Middle School
  • Bagley Elementary School
  • Bennett Elementary School
  • Carstens Elementary-Middle
  • Cody High Schools
  • Earhart Elementary-Middle School
  • Harms Elementary School
  • Golightly Education Center
  • Gompers Elementary-Middle School
  • Mark Twain for Scholars
  • Mason Elementary-Middle School
  • Munger Elementary-Middle School
  • Western International High School

At each of these schools, Southwest Solutions employs a Community School Site Coordinator who is based at the respective school. Community School Site Coordinators, under the direction of the school leader, assist with the assessment of services and resources, coordinate resources, and establish partnerships critical to improving student achievement and chronic absenteeism and addressing basic needs of students and families.

Community Schools focus on:

  • Excellent academic programs that ensure student success with before, during and after school programs that address the academic needs through tutoring
  • Youth development programs, civic engagement and leadership development
  • Family support with basic needs, employment and educational and training programs
  • Health and social services that include programs addressing the social and emotional needs of students and families including mentoring programs, art, music programs and sports programs
  • Community development including partners to provide support

The DPS Community Schools model is integrated with the “Pathways to Potential” program instituted by Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). Pathways places DHS caseworkers in schools to help families achieve greater self-sufficiency and access benefits like food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid, childcare, emergency aid, and more. These caseworkers are known as “success coaches.” The Pathways program and DPS funded the Community Schools coordinators, and the success coach teams with the coordinator at each school to address the needs of families.

Full implementation of the Community Schools model requires collaboration between Detroit Public Schools (DPS), Department of Human Services (DHS), community partners, and governance structures at the local school, community and county level.


Wayne County Community Schools Leadership Task Force

This Council has been established to create vision, policy and resource alignment for Community Schools. Members include: DHS, Wayne RESA, DPS, Michigan AFT, DFT, Community Mental Health, Public Health, Community In Schools, MOSES, Partnership for Youth, Juvenile Justice and 482 Forward.

Southwest Solutions is implementing the Community Schools model in 13 DPS schools
Community Schools have shown promising results in Cincinnati and other cities. Academic performance, attendance, parental involvement, school safety, and other important measures have significantly improved.


To learn more about Community Schools, contact Emma Herdean, Community Schools Manager at Southwest Solutions, at 313.896.2800 x.6416 or email.


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