The community school model is a way for schools to promote equity and to be paired with community resources for students. Community schools offer extended learning opportunities, health and social support, and enrichment opportunities.
Phoenix Academy, one of our alternative learning schools, fosters and promotes personal and academic growth for students. As a Setting 4 special education school, Phoenix Academy provides programming for K-12 students with disabilities and intense mental health and behavioral needs.
“I think it is so important that Phoenix has become a community school,” Jasmine said. “These are the students that have the most obstacles and this is an opportunity to mitigate the things that life throws at them and show them that they have resources and support. They do not need to go through the struggles of life alone.”
Jasmine Bissell joined our team at Phoenix Academy as the Community School Facilitator. She has a passion for equity, advocacy, and accessibility and loves that her job meshes these opportunities into meaningful work. For Jasmine, Phoenix being a community school means that they can finally start getting the resources that they need to best support student needs.
Looking ahead, Jasmine wants to provide more mental health resources for Phoenix students. Providing access to a mental health professional within the school would give students access to services that they may otherwise have difficulty accessing.
“I think it has been really cool to retell the narrative of Phoenix,” Jasmine added. “I think people may not have the best opinion of Phoenix Academy to the point where even students are embarrassed to put it on resumes, but I want everyone to know that it’s good to go to Phoenix. It means that you have a community that wants to support you and lift you up when you are down. It goes with the whole metaphor of a Phoenix and we embody that.”
For Phoenix, their time as a Community School is just beginning, and we know there is much more work to be done. If you’d like to help support the Phoenix Academy Community School, they are currently accepting donations of individually packaged breakfast items and snacks, hygienic items, gas cards, and gift cards. If you would like to make a donation to Phoenix Academy, please contact Jasmine Bissell.
Follow along with Phoenix Community School as they help our students grow on Facebook @PhoenixAcademyRochester.