Community Schools

Struggling students and their families have a hard time navigating the maze of services. There may be plenty of resources in a community, but rarely is there someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with the schools and students that need them most. Through a school-based coordinator, we bring these local resources into the school where they are accessible, coordinated and aimed towards the same goal.

Snack Drive!

Support the Community Schools resource centers by donating non perishable snack items. Drop off at the TOGETHER! Main office located at 1520 Irving St. SW Ste. A Tumwater WA 98512

Client feedback

We love hearing feedback from the community. Please take 5 minutes to fill out an anonymous questionair and let the Community Schools team know how we are doing. Thank you!

Equity Vs. Equality

It’s important to understand that equity is different from equality, in that equality means that all students get the same thing. But when schools strive to provide equity, it means that every child gets what they need. Or, as 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples once said, “Equality is everyone gets shoes. Equity is all the shoes fit.”

Creating lasting equity in health and education takes mobilization of multiple partners to change systems that serve kids and families. Our Community Schools Initiative tackles barriers students and families face to their health, well-being and success. Using the research based national Community Schools model, we transform schools and communities to ensure every child has an equitable opportunity to succeed in school and life. Using a whole child mindset, we mobilize partners and schools to transform systems of care for children. We know from research that health and education are intimately related. Ensuring students graduate from high school and are on track for post-secondary success is an important step in ensuring a lifetime of success, health and well-being.

TOGETHER! is currently partnering with the Tumwater School District and the Olympia School District to implement this model in elementary, middle, and high schools.

 

Meet our team!

Current Projects & Events

Mobile Community Resource Centers     

In a time of global pandemic, our Community Schools team is mobile, working closely with students and families to remove barriers and meet basic needs. To do this we need a little support from the community in the form of donation of funds and products. To donate funds, visit our donate page, and to donate food or other key items, check our list below, or check out the Tumwater Community Schools Facebook page and the Olympia Community Schools Facebook page for updates on current top needs.        

 

Want to support the Tumwater and Olympia communities?

Help us spread the word about these important resources.

 

Every child walks into their classroom each day with varying preparedness to learn. It’s possible that a student may be experiencing a turbulent home life, hungry, facing housing instability, lack of medical resources, technology disparity or any other barrier that might be keeping them from succeeding in school. Increasingly, schools recognize that in order to learn, students need individualized supports.

TOGETHER! works in partnership with the school district, local churches, teachers, Rotary clubs, foundations and student leadership groups to help manage and maintain physical and mobile pantries full of items children and families need most. 

We maintain Community Resource Centers in every school we serve, where students can easily and discreetly access all of the basic needs that keep them healthy and happy during school and over the summer. Each Community Resource Center also serves as a point of entry into Community Schools wraparound services, where staff can get to know a student's individual needs and offer sustainable assistance. The Community Resource Center is the hub and the footprint of Community Schools in each building and all of the work we do spreads out from there, yet in a time of this global pandemic, we have moved all of our support services to be accessible remotely.

The Community Schools Initiative in Practice

Our model’s 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. The approach is adapted to meet each school’s unique needs.

Many children face challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Through a school-based site manager, our initiative strategically aligns and leverages needed resources so that students can focus on learning.

Areas of Support
When it comes to making sure kids get the supports that they need to succeed in school and in life, we never give up. The Community Schools Initiative works to address the needs of the whole child by leveraging partners and resources. Some of the barriers that students face can include:

  • Experiencing family or personal crisis

  • In need of mental health services

  • Living in poverty

  • Coming to school hungry

  • In need of healthcare

  • Homeless or living in temporary housing

  • Language barriers

  • Time management

 


Initiative Resources:

Executive Summary 

Results Framework

 


Partnering School Districts

 

Olympia School District


 
Avanti High School &
Capital High School 
 

Program Manager:
Paulie Schreck (she, her)
PSchreck@thurstontogether.org


Olympia High School

Program Manager:
Kathy Burget (she, her)
KBurget@thurstontogether.org


Jefferson Middle School &
Marshall Middle School

Program Manager:
Sarina Corpuz (she, her)
SCorpuz@thurstontogether.org


Reeves Middle School &
Washington Middle School
 

Program Manager:
Dara Halvorson (she, her)
DHalvorson@thurstontogether.org



Tumwater School District 


Black Hills High School

Program Manager:
Victoria O'Bleness (she, her)
VObleness@thurstontogether.org


Tumwater High School

Program Manager:
Stephanie Lopez (she, her)
SLopez@thurstontogether.org


Black Lake Elementary,
Littlerock Elementary &
Peter G. Schmidt Elementary
 

Program Manager:
Aaron Polasky (he, him)
​APolasky@thurstontogether.org


East Olympia Elementary,
Michael T. Simmons Elementary &
Tumwater Hill Elementary

Program Manager:
Courtney Prothero (she, her)
CProthero@thurstontogether.org


 

Thank you to our Partners

Interested?

If you are interested in supporting our Olympia Community Schools program, please contact:

Michael Dennis
Work Cell: (360) 819-0277
MDennis@thurstontogether.org

Olympia Community Schools Facebook


If you are interested in supporting our Tumwater Community Schools program, please contact:

Sierra Abrams
Work Cell: (360) 999-0092

SAbrams@thurstontogether.org

Tumwater Community Schools Initiative Funders:
Tumwater School District
Community Investment Partnership
Tumwater Rotary

Tumwater Community Schools Facebook

“The Tumwater Community Schools partnership with TOGETHER! has become an essential part of our mutual effort to support students and families facing challenges in their lives which impact the ability to learn.  Our growing list of community partners wanting to support and expand this effort would not have been possible without the amazing leadership, networking, and support our TOGETHER! team provides. Thank you to the entire TOGETHER! organization for the important work you do in support of children and families!" - Partner John Bash