PENSACOLA, Fla. — Bellview Middle School will become the third school in Escambia County to adopt the Community Partnership Schools model this year with partnerships among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Community Health Northwest Florida, Escambia County School District and the University of West Florida.

“The partnerships are announced as the next step in growing the successful model first implemented in Orlando at Evans High School in 2012 and expanded to more than 40 schools statewide, transforming tens of thousands of lives,” Escambia County Public Schools says in a release.

In the newly-released school grades for the 2022-23 school year, Bellview Middle earned a “D” grade.

The effective Community Partnership Schools model requires at least four core partners – including the school district, a healthcare provider, a nonprofit organization and a college or university – to agree to a 25-year commitment to the school and community.

Founded by the Children’s Home Society of Florida and the University of Central Florida, the Community Partnership Schools model engages core partners, collaborating with local nonprofits, businesses, the faith community, and other stakeholders. Together, they operate within schools to tackle crucial barriers to learning, such as food insecurity, poverty, inadequate access to affordable healthcare, behavioral health services, and heightened rates of violence and crime, among other identified challenges.

Children’s Home Society of Florida received $80,000 in state grant funds after being selected by UCF’s Center for Community Schools to launch a community partnership school at Bellview Middle, in addition to local financial contributions to support this initiative.

“We are excited about our partnership with the Children’s Home Society of Florida,” said Escambia County Public Schools Superintendent Keith Leonard. “The addition of Bellview Middle School to our Community Partnership schools will provide our students, families and the entire community surrounding Bellview Middle with wrap-around services second to none.”

“Expanding our reach to include Bellview Middle, a Community Partnership School, represents a direct impact on the lives of over 600 additional students and their families within Escambia County,” said Lindsey Cannon, Executive Director of Children’s Home Society of Florida. “Through collaborative efforts with our core and community partners, we’ve established a vital support network for students and families as they embark on their educational path at C.A. Weis Elementary, a Community Partnership School, progress to Bellview Middle, and culminate their journey at Pine Forest High, also a Community Partnership School. This continuum guarantees consistent support throughout their educational pursuits and we are thrilled to contribute to the collaborative efforts aimed at enriching our local community.”

The first step toward implementation is the planning phase, which includes a community needs assessment. Students, teachers, parents and community members identify their primary needs and challenges, the results of which will determine the services and solutions that will be brought into the school.

Other critical components of this model include a focus on parental and family engagement, as well as comprehensive health and wellness efforts.

“As a Federally Qualified Health Center, we are driven not only to make healthcare accessible to all, but to truly impact the heart of our community on multiple levels, “said Chandra Simmons, CEO of Community Health Northwest Florida. “This grant, which will support the planning and implementation of an all- important Middle School component, will link our existing community schools at Weis and Pine Forest. ”

This collaborative approach leverages schools as central hubs toward improving child well-being by addressing key barriers to learning through counseling, medical and dental services, after-school enrichment, mentoring programs, and more.

Because they center on unique community needs, each Community Partnership School is different, but they all share a similar goal – to empower students to succeed in school and life. Specific successes through the Community Partnership Schools model include increased graduation rates, reduced disciplinary actions and increased parental involvement.

With the addition of Bellview Middle School, Children’s Home Society of Florida has expanded the Community Partnership Schools model to three schools in Escambia County, including C.A. Weis Elementary — Florida’s first elementary school to adopt the innovative model — and Pine Forest High. This establishes a complete feeder pattern, ensuring continuous support for students throughout their educational journey—from early kindergarten years through to high school graduation.

CHS received additional planning grants to implement the Community Partnership Schools model at Campbell Middle School, Longbranch Elementary and Rutherford Middle & High School. CHS is a core partner in 31 of 44 Community Partnership Schools in Florida — more than any other entity in the state.

Originally posted by WEAR TV