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Community engagement department restructures staff

March 11, 2021 – The community engagement department has restructured its staff members to better meet the needs of the district and community. 

“With the departure of one of our team members, we decided to look at the structure of the department and align duties to best meet the needs of our schools and community,” said Seth Ryan, director of community engagement. “With the restructure, we are better able to leverage our collective engagement resources, enhance community engagement strategies and increase the well-being of youth and families.”

Previously, the department had a community schools manager, youth enrichment manager and childcare manager. Now, Renee Starr will be in the community schools manager position and Jakarta Turner will be in the community education manager position. The duties previously under the three manager positions will be realigned under the director position and the two manager positions. 

“I’m really excited to see where this team can go with shared goals and increased collaboration,” said Renee Starr, community schools manager. “This streamlined structure will support the district in fully realizing the pillar of collaborative leadership and practice. I’m excited to see how the opportunities in front of us will ultimately benefit students and families.”

Within the community schools model, there are four pillars: 

  • Active Family & Community Engagement: Essential for strong relationships, shared decisions and building capacity for all
    • Led by the community schools manager and the community schools site coordinators, Adrianne Gould and Tashawna Williams
  • Expanded and Enriched Learning Time & Opportunities: Extra learning time to support students’ academic, social, and emotional growth
    • Led by the community schools manager and the youth programs coordinators, DeMyko Jacksonand Longkee Vang 
  • Integrated Student Supports: A range of services and supports to address academic and non-academic barriers to students’ education, wellness, and success
    • Human services work will be led by the community schools manager and the site coordinators
    • The Health Resource Center (HRC) and other health services will be led by the director of community engagement and the HRC staff, Sierra Howard and Julie Gilasevitch
  • Collaborative Leadership & Practice: A shared vision and goals and shared responsibility that allows for individual expertise to be leveraged
    • All BCCS employees help realize the success of this collaborative work

In addition to the four pillars of community schools, community education and health and wellness are also part of the community engagement model in BCCS. 

  • Community education: Offer lifelong opportunities for learners of all ages through high quality and enriching programs and activities
    • Adult Enrichment
    • Youth Enrichment
    • Centaur Plus - Lajune Little, program lead
    • Centaur Beginnings - Yenestra Haralson, program lead
  • Farm to School: Enhance the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and food education practices at schools. 
    • Megan Grubb, Farm to School coordinator
  • Wellness: Equip each student, staff member and community member with the knowledge to contribute to their lifelong personal wellness, by promoting equity, social-emotional development, nutritional education, environmental stewardship, physical activity, and more. 
    • Michelle Auld, wellness coordinator 

"During my time in Brooklyn Center, I’ve enjoyed working with our littlest learners and I’m excited to now think about their growth and learning journey through the community education lens,” Turner said. 

Click here to view a graphic to see how all of these services fit together. 

“Our team is really excited about this opportunity to rethink how we provide effective services and how to streamline process and service delivery,” Ryan said. “I am confident that this restructure will be a great transition not only now but for the long term for our organization.”