Leslie County Receives Full-Service Community School Grant

Hyden, KY—The Leslie County School district will be a Full-Service Community School (FSCS) thanks to grant funding secured by Partners for Education at Berea College. The U.S. Department of Education grant will provide $2.5 million over the next five years.

“We are very excited to begin implementation of the Leslie County Full-Service Community Grant. The goals of the grant align perfectly with our mission of removing barriers of learning, ensuring that every student in our school district has the best opportunity to become college and career ready,” said Brett Wilson, superintendent of Leslie County schools.

The FSCS program provides support for the planning, implementation and operation of schools that improve the integration, accessibility and effectiveness of services for children and families. The Leslie County project will provide comprehensive services to the 1,750 students in preschool through 12th. grade.

“The essence of the work of the Full-Service Community Schools model is strengthening existing relationships within the community and building new ones that will ultimately result in a coordinated effort to support children and families,” Amon Couch, director of programs at Partners for Education, said. “When those supports are offered in a coordinated manner, all partners pull in the same direction.  Partners for Education is excited to join with the Leslie County school community to grow an already rich and productive partnership.”

The partnerships represent a multi-sector commitment to support student success in the community. Work by the partners to obtain the funding began in January 2019 as they reviewed school plans, ACT and state assessment data, community-level data and student- and parent-survey data. The partners also interviewed community members, administrators, counselors and teachers. This process allowed them to identify the needs, gaps and weaknesses in services that will be addressed. Among the partners already participating in this work are the Eastern Streams Community Early Childhood Council, the Elgin Foundation, the Kentucky Center for School Safety, the Kentucky Out of School Alliance, the Kentucky River District Health Department, and the Prichard Committee.

These partners will continue to promote family and community engagement activities designed to support families and their children with positive early learning experiences and support on their pathway to college and career success. In addition to activities traditionally associated with the school system, the project will support parents with resources to support school readiness and financial planning, and students will be offered support to increase health and wellness, find mentors and obtain access to other resources needed to succeed.

Community members and organizations interested in supporting the FSCS project are encouraged to contact Amon Couch at Amon_Couch@berea.edu.

The Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) program is re-authorized under Title IV through Community Support for School Success, sections 4621-4623 and 4625 (a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Partners for Education at Berea College uses a place-based, student-focused approach to improve educational outcomes in Appalachian Kentucky. By braiding services and aligning federal, state and private funding streams, Partners for Education works to ensure all Appalachian students succeed.