Community School Model

What is a Community School?

“A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities.” (Coalition for Community Schools)

Community School Strategy at Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove

Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove (BFHS) opened in 2011 as a turnaround school in Baltimore City. The first high school in the area, BFHS utilized the Community School strategy to increase student performance by addressing limited resources available to them in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay neighborhood.

Today, The Ben Center for Community Schools (affectionately known as “The Ben Center”) partners with other institutions and leverages unique community resources to bring wrap around services to the school’s students, families, and wider community.  Since its inception, the Ben Center has worked to help increase rates of attendance, boost student achievement, and engage families and community stakeholders in both the success of the school and the community.

Programs currently offered through The Ben Center include the Mental Health Program, the United Way Family Center Early Childhood Development Program, and the United Way Family Center Workforce Development Program.  Additional services available to the students under BFHS community school strategy include the Family Stability Program and community food pantry.