HARTFORD, Conn. (November 30, 2023) – Hartford Public Schools is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a five-year Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for its student-centered approach to deepening support in community schools and its efforts to reimagine education. 

The District will receive $2,104,428 over the next five years, with $423,190 available in Year 1. The funding will be crucial to supporting a Full-Service Community Schools model at M.D. Fox Elementary School, Burr Middle School, and Bulkeley High School. Hartford Public Schools staff will work with community partners to enhance the system of student support, expand in-school and out-of-school programs and activities, increase involvement of families and community, and build capacity for collaborative leadership and professional development. Staff will track and evaluate the impact of these services on students at key transition points: preschool to Kindergarten, Kindergarten to early elementary, elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school. The grant also allows for two new programs in career readiness and in crime and violence prevention and intervention.

“For over 13 years, Hartford Public Schools has been committed to Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) that provide wraparound supports that help remove barriers to learning and ensure access to opportunities so our students can excel in the classroom and throughout their communities,” said Nuchette Black-Burke, Chief of Family and Community Partnerships at Hartford Public Schools. “The financial resources provided by the USDE will allow us to continue building on our Community School frame, all in service of our students and families. We are honored to have received this grant award and appreciate the USDE for their commitment to Community Schools.”

“These new investments support what I’ve heard from parents and families across the country. Additional funding will deepen community partnerships and connect children and families to vital resources that meet their holistic needs. We know that comprehensive, wrap-around approaches—including nutrition assistance; mental health services; early childhood education; and access to high-quality afterschool summer learning, and enrichment programs—all are crucial for accelerating our students’ academic success and their recovery from the pandemic by helping them thrive both inside and outside of school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. 

Research indicates that positive learning environments where students receive key services—including nutritional, dental, vision, and mental health services—are critical for accelerating academic recovery. Students learn better, have increased attendance, and are more engaged in their learning environment when their whole needs are met.

As a recipient of this grant, Hartford Public Schools is demonstrating its commitment to implementing the four pillars of evidence-based community schools that improve achievement and other outcomes for students: 1) integrated student supports that address out-of-school barriers to learning through partnerships with social and health service agencies and providers; 2) expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities; 3) active family and community engagement; and 4) collaborative leadership and practices.