Florida Senate - 2014 SB 1376 By Senator Thompson 12-01399-14 20141376__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to a community schools initiative; 3 requiring the Department of Education to implement the 4 Reigniting Education Achievement with Coordinated Help 5 (REACH) Program as a public-private partnership in 6 low-performing public schools; authorizing funding; 7 specifying services to be offered with the goal of 8 improving student academic achievement; providing 9 requirements for implementation of the program; 10 requiring the department to submit a report to the 11 Legislature at the conclusion of the program; 12 requiring the State Board of Education to adopt rules 13 for program implementation; providing an effective 14 date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Community schools initiative; Reigniting 19 Education Achievement with Coordinated Help (REACH) Program.— 20 (1) Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the Department 21 of Education shall establish a 4-year community schools 22 initiative by implementing the Reigniting Education Achievement 23 with Coordinated Help (REACH) Program in three to five of the 24 state’s lowest-performing traditional public schools with a 25 large population of low-income, at-risk students. Program 26 funding may not exceed $900,000 for the initial year of the 27 program and each subsequent year unless increased by an act of 28 the Legislature. The Commissioner of Education shall establish 29 criteria for participation in the program, including school, 30 health, and community services to be offered. A school 31 interested in participating in the program shall submit a letter 32 of interest to the Commissioner of Education by July 15, 2014. 33 (2) The program shall consist of a public-private 34 partnership to supply wrap-around services to students attending 35 the schools, including, but not limited to, tutorial and after 36 school programs, student counseling, nutrition education, health 37 and dental services, parental counseling, and adult education. 38 (3) The program shall focus attention on improving academic 39 achievement through a holistic approach through which students 40 receive the academic, medical, nutritional, and social supports 41 that they need to develop strong literacy and mathematical 42 skills, as well as the qualities of responsibility, self 43 control, attention, and cooperation. The program shall make 44 available support services that encourage healthy family 45 dynamics and home-school connections by providing parents with 46 skills and opportunities to get involved in their children’s 47 education and help their children succeed in school. The program 48 shall be based on the following research-driven elements that 49 lead to student success: improving student achievement and 50 learning, leveraging community assets and improving school and 51 community collaboration, improving staff capacity and 52 effectiveness, and developing family and community partnerships. 53 (4) The program shall be implemented as follows: 54 (a) During the first year of operation, a school shall 55 build partnerships, which include the school district, the local 56 teachers’ union, parents, social service agencies, medical and 57 dental professionals, community and civic groups, and 58 businesses. The school shall also plan services, advertise the 59 program, establish baseline data, begin offering the services, 60 and report costs and benefits. 61 (b) During the second, third, and fourth years of 62 operation, a school shall continue the partnerships; seek input 63 and refine services; continue offering the services; monitor the 64 academic, health, and nutritional progress of students and 65 families; and report progress, costs, and benefits. 66 (5) At the conclusion of the program, the Department of 67 Education shall submit to the President of the Senate and the 68 Speaker of the House of Representatives a review of the program, 69 including successful practices and the impact on student 70 performance and success, and make a recommendation for 71 continuing or terminating the program. 72 (6) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to 73 administer this section. 74 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.