Community Schools

What is a Community School?

Our Community Schools programs provide opportunities for students, families, and communities to improve. With the overall approach of services we provide, the students, who we call “scholars,” improve their academic and social skills, families grow stronger, and communities become healthier.

We proudly offer afternoon and summer programs, in partnership with Hartford Public Schools, at McDonough Middle School, Milner Middle School, and Parkville Community School. There is no cost to participate.

The Core Four pillars of our programs are
An incentive-heavy program that aims to improve behavior, attendance and grades throughout the school year and summers.

The CHILL Spot: Afternoon programs that motivate attendance and improve learning while offering the “scholars” a place to relax.

Clinical Services: Licensed clinical social workers are on-site to help “scholars” struggling with stressful and traumatic events learn ways to cope and recover.

Parent Support Services: Engaging parents is key to the overall success of “scholars.

BAG: Behavior, Attendance, and Grades

Our “BAG” program at Milner and McDonough middle schools is a proven method of improving student behaviors, attendance, and achievement of student-identified goals by offering incentives that appeal to middle school students. The strategies employed include providing support to improve academics, including help with homework; raising awareness of attendance with home visits; engaging parents and caregivers; and scheduling visits to high schools in the Hartford Public Schools system.

An initiative at McDonough Middle School rewards scholars for perfect attendance each week.

The CHILL Spot

C = Caring and Creativity
H = Healthy Habits and Humanity
I = Ideas and Innovation
LL = Love of Learning
The afterschool program offers opportunities for students include literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), positive youth development, physical activity, and creative arts.

Clinical Services

Catholic Charities clinicians are passionate about helping people who have gone through traumatic experiences find a path to healing. We help students and families develop and grow stronger through a variety of methods that include individual and group sessions for students, an intervention/therapy program for students exposed to trauma, and therapy sessions that include art or music.

Parent Support Services

We believe a healthy home environment is essential for a healthy academic environment. In keeping with our commitment to serving the whole child, Catholic Charities coordinates educational and personal development workshops for parents and caretakers, including positive parenting, GED programs, leadership, and more. Catholic Charities also works to assist parents and caretakers with the provision of basic needs, school uniforms, and toiletries by linking them with other agency and community resources.

Parents at McDonough Middle School in Hartford learn English in classes started by the Community Schools team and school staff.

Other Opportunities

College and Career Readiness: Our staff takes a holistic approach to teaching students about post-middle school options. We work with students to complete Student Success Plans, provide career exploration exercises, and facilitate college tours. We also assist eighth-grade families with the high school application process.
Food Assistance: All three school programs include food banks in partnership with Connecticut Foodshare to address food insecurity among children and families in our community.