Bringing The Community Into The Classroom In Seaford


SEAFORD, Del. - The halls of Seaford Middle School are busy...not with children, but faculty, preparing to turn two of the districts schools into community schools.
"A community school, is looking at a school in a different concept," says Nicole Osborne, Community Schools Site Coordinator for Seaford Middle.

The idea is to bring outside resources to help both the students, and sometimes their families, better themselves beyond what can happen during the standard school day.

Last year, members of the Seaford School District visited community schools in New York City to learn more about how the type of school operates.
"What was really fascinating to us and really helped us understand the importance for the framework of community schools is that each school strategically had very different things in place based on the needs of their children," says Robin Andrus, Director of Special Programs for the Seaford School District.

In Seaford, they're planning a father mentoring program, mental health and social therapy services, parenting classes, monthly family nights, and with 75 percent of the students already enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program, about 70 students at Seaford Middle will take home free meals on the weekends and holidays.

Nicole Osborne says she's seen, first hand, the importance of consistent meals for students, "if you go to a lunch room, you could see a kid shove a bunch of extra food into their pockets because that's all the food they're going to get.  You know if they go home with a meal, it's going to at least help satisfy their basic needs."

With all of the new programs offered to both students, and the community, student safety is still at top priority.

Andrus says "we've made sure that it's a totally separate entrance, there's no one that can just walk into the school and access children, but at the same time, they can come in and access classes, they can access resources."

School for both Frederick Douglass Elementary and Seaford Middle starts Monday, August 26.

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