EWSD’s Partnership with Community Recreation and Facility Use
EWSD has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with our local community recreation departments - in Essex Town, the Village of Essex Junction, and Westford. The programming that our recreation departments deliver to our students is integral to their development, from healthy lifestyles to social-emotional learning. When our instructional and recreational efforts are united, we can impact and nurture the whole child extending beyond the traditional school day and school year. The partnership also gives vital support to families to prepare kids for success as they learn, play, and grow. It is exactly this partnership that the newly-merged EWSD Board recognized when they adopted the Community Use of School Facilities Policy in November 2016.
The policy emphasizes that the purpose of school facilities is to educate and serve our students first. Once that purpose is fully met -- recreation, after-school, and summer programs targeted toward uplifting students and families, are the next priority in the use of school facilities. The policy specifically defines our work with local recreation departments as a partnership and calls for strong support of these programs.
As we move into the summer and welcome the start of a new school year in August, our partnership with the recreation departments will continue to thrive as their use of school facilities expands. To help facilitate our work we’ll continue to strengthen the centralizing of facility use requests and scheduling through the EWSD Facilities & Safety department. In this new centralized design, the role of Facilities & Safety is to ensure EWSD is fully leveraging our facilities in support of our students, families, and neighbors in ways that will minimize impacts on our efforts to educate and serve our students, all the while preserving and protecting instructional leadership time and attention.
Deep collaboration with our recreation partners and support of their youth programming will allow us to better serve our students, before, during, and after the school day, as well as over school vacations and the summer break, more fully catalyzing EWSD's vision of "every day, every way, every one."