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United Way Community Schools Help Boost Graduation Rates in Vallejo

Posted on June 2, 2015, by United Way in Latest News Education Poverty 2-gen

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Three years into our partnership with the Vallejo City Unified School District to expand its Community Schools initiative, we are proud to report that graduation rates have soared 11 percentage points to 72%!

Community Schools address the link between educational achievement and poverty by providing not only academic support but also services like health care, food pantries, after-school programs and parent education classes.

In a school district where 70% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, these services can make a huge difference in the lives of children and their entire families—and it’s clear that they’ve started to do so already. In addition to a higher graduation rate overall, graduation rates among African-Americans and Hispanic students in the district climbed faster than the statewide average.

Children living in poverty are five times more likely to drop out of high school than their higher-income peers, so it is crucial that more low-income schools address the challenges that students face outside of the classroom by adopting a Community School model.

VCUSD’s implementation of a Community Schools model is a key component of Superintendent Dr. Ramona Bishop’s multi-year effort to help ensure that all students have equal opportunities to thrive at school. "Our work isn't done until we have 100 percent of our students graduate college and career ready," she told the Vallejo Times Herald.

United Way is proud to support Community Schools across the entire Bay Area—we’re working to help launch 200 before 2020.

Learn more in our report, Community School Success in the Bay Area and Beyond, and at uwba.org/community-schools. Consider supporting this important work with a gift to United Way.

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