October 21, 2013 Gina Plate, CCSA's Senior Advisor for Special Education and Vice President of California's Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), recently had the pleasure of joining a three-day bus tour coordinated by Senator Carol Liu (52nd District - Pasadena) featuring community schools. She shared this report from the field.
Sen. Liu's Pathways to Partnership program is an initiative that supports all aspects of the child and family by bringing together key stakeholders such as parents, students, city staff, teachers, administrators, faith based and community based staff and volunteers, medical, dental, social work supports from the community. It was truly wonderful to see how each program across the state really reflects the unique needs of each specific community.
One of the highlights for me was being able to see the program in action at Oakland Tech High School. The initiative has brought together supports to create a Health and Wellness Center, adding Community School Managers, a Linked Learning program and Adult education together in a way that has built a strong foundation to support the students and families on this campus.
It has become clear that the support systems offered through general and special education systems must be collaborative efforts in order to meet the changing needs of students in our schools. In addition, coordinated efforts such as the Pathways program, are critical in leveraging stakeholders from the community to ensure that students and families are supported.