This October in Sofia was held the second three days training for principals and school leaders working with the model “Community school”. In the event participated twelve schools. The project was organized by The National Network for Children, which with the financial help of the “Charles Stewart Mot” foundation since 2014 successfully applies the model in thirteen Bulgarian schools all around the country.
The whole event was lectured by Chris Jones – experienced specialist in the educational methods, who has already introduced the model in sixteen countries around the world, one of which is Bulgaria. She defines the difference between the ordinary school and the community school by the fact that the second one puts the child in the center of its work. However, we are aware of the fact that a child doesn’t grow in a flowerpot, but around a family, friends and neighbors. This is why the community schools extend their work to the surroundings of a certain child.
On the other hand, the school has its own resources (a building, yard, personnel) which can be used and belong to the whole community. This happens by offering many after school activities, courses and trainings for parents, as well as partnership with local businessmen and non-political organizations.
In the first day, everyone had their chance to cooperate by introducing ideas and looking for ways to import good practices in the old fashioned school system. In the focus was the difference in our values and how their deeper understanding, could overcome the stereotypes and the prejudices leading to discrimination.
The second day was dedicated on the nine international standards of quality, by which every school makes its own self-assessment. On the basis of the self-assessment, each school can better understand its strong and its weak points and make a strategical decision about their future progress. Two standards were prioritized because of the difficulty of their application in the process – “School leadership” and “Parental Involvement”.
On the third day, everybody got their own copy of an “action plan”. An instrument which points the next steps for a certain school, the team to deal with them, as well as the expected results and proofs, which have to be obtained.