New Wheatley Community School Development

Wheatley Middle School has been identified as a community school host in EastPoint. It is an opportunity to create a lasting physical, social, cultural, economic, educational and organizational community asset. SAISD along with the San Antonio Housing Authority, and United Way has partnered with urban planning firm Concordia (view Concordia’s previous work) as consultants on the New Wheatley Community School.

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.

Community schools address many of the realities that challenge today’s schools and educators including:

  • Cultural Disconnects
  • Disengaged Students
  • Poverty
  • Too Much Unstructured Time
  • Unaddressed Health Needs
  •  Transience
  • School Violence and Unsafe School Environments
  •  Overburdened and Under Resourced Schools

“Wheatley Middle School lies in the heart of the EastPoint community. It is exciting that this part of San Antonio is getting so much attention with the influx of Choice Neighborhood and Promise Neighborhood investments.” – Bobbie Hill, Partner in Charge of Planning for Concordia

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Community School

In a community school, youth, families and community residents work as equal partners with schools and other community institutions to develop programs and services in five areas:

■ Quality education – High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community’s assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
■ Youth development – Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
■ Family support■ Family and community engagement – Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
■ Community development – All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.

Community School partners are asking residents to participate in the first phase of planning through a series of public development meetings to address the specific needs and desires of the community. Engaging citizens in the planning for a community school presents a great opportunity for increasing student success and building local capacity for community members to have a more meaningful role in ongoing development. The first and second development meetings held in May and June drew nearly 200 residents.

The third and final gathering will be on Tuesday, July 8th, 5:30PM at Wheatley Middle School.

Wheatley Middle School

Wheatley Middle School – Our mission at Wheatley Middle School is to provide a quality academic program, to prepare students for continued education, and to develop good citizenship. We want our students to feel a sense of pride and community as a member of the Wheatley family.

Phillis Wheatley High School was erected in 1932 as a replacement for Douglass High School which was one of the only public schools in the state of Texas designated for African American students. Our school proudly bears the name of Phillis Wheatley, an ex-slave, who was the first woman, as well as the first African American, to publish a book of poems in the United States. The school was designated a historical landmark of the city of San Antonio on March 7, 1985, and continues to operate as Phillis Wheatley Middle School to this day.

The school recently underwent extensive remodeling before opening in the fall of 2003 under the leadership of Principal Everett Fuller.