Neighborhood School Centers (NSC)

Kiser is one of five Dayton Public Schools that is labeled as a neighborhood school center. You may be asking what a Neighborhood School Center is. With the end of court-ordered busing and the opportunity to rebuild public schools, Dayton Public Schools are returning to neighborhood schools. To demonstrate the full potential of schools as the centers of their communities, a coalition of Dayton public and private partners conceptualized and supported four Dayton elementary schools as pilot “centers” of the redevelopment of their neighborhoods.  These Neighborhood School Centers (NSCs) will demonstrate what is required for schools to serve as community centers.

What is the purpose of Neighborhood School Centers?

The partners looked to a growing national movement and the Coalition for Community Schools for the best example of cities that have made schools the centers of their communities.  Community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families, and communities.

These Partners work to ensure that:

  • Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter.
  • All students learn and achieve to high standards.
  • Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents, and as citizens.
  • Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive, and engaged.
  • Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
  • Achieving these results is the responsibility of all of the community partners, not just the schools and teachers.

What are the objectives of Dayton’s Neighborhood Schools Centers?

Each site will develop its own site objective, reflecting the opportunities, assets, and needs of the school and neighborhood.  However all of Dayton’s Neighborhood School Centers and initiative itself will be evaluated on the ability to:

  • Improve student performance
  • Improve the quality of life in the neighborhood
  • Attract families with school-aged children to the neighborhood
  • Realign community resources to support youth achievement
  • Sustain Leadership and support for Neighborhood School Centers
  • Develop in Dayton a replicable national model

What is the Dayton vision shared by the partners?

“New public schools are the center of their neighborhoods, serving as healthy places of learning for children and families.”

Who is in charge?

The challenge of community leadership is shared authority and responsibility.  For Dayton to succeed, individuals, organizations, associations, and coalitions must work together and share the vision.  To achieve this, the partners have created multiple levels of accountability.

  • Funding Partners- Recruited organized by The Dayton Foundation, these partners share a commitment to the vision and objectives of Neighborhood School Centers and provide funding to organize, administer, and evaluate the pilot initiative.
  • Oversight Council- Recruited and organized by The Dayton Foundation, these individuals represent a cross-section of community leaders responsible for guiding the initial organization of the Neighborhood School Centers and maintaining a community committed to the shared vision and objectives.
  • Neighborhood Planning Committees- Recruited and organized by the Fitz Center for Leadership in community at the University of Dayton with appointments by Dayton Public Schools, neighborhood associations and lead agency partners, these committees-including parents, teachers, and principals- also serve as the building planning committees to advise Dayton Public Schools and its contract architects on sitting and design of the school buildings.
  • Steering Committee- Key public and private partners meet monthly with the superintendent of Dayton Public Schools to work out the administrative details of the NSCs.  The partners are represented by their chief executive officers or delegates.
  • Management Team-The Fitz Center works on behalf of the partners to administer the organization and implementation of the community’s vision of NSCs.  The management team includes five experienced community leaders who administer the pilot initiative.

What is the role of the site coordinator?

The full-time site coordinator at each of Dayton’s Neighborhood School Centers supports the school principal by managing the contributions of community partners who bring programs to the school site.   The site coordinators are employed by Dayton nonprofit organizations committed to the initiative’s vision.  The site coordinators and their employers are the brokers of partnerships for the NSCs.

Kiser Neighborhood School Center

James G. Fowler, Principal
Teresa Wendell, Site Coordinator
Salvation Army of the Greater Dayton Area
The University of Dayton

Neighborhood School Centers Program Partners

Dayton Public Schools
Montgomery County
City of Dayton
United Way
Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Lead Agencies

Dayton Urban League
East End Community Services
Salvation Army of Greater Dayton Area
Unified Health Solutions
YMCA of Greater Dayton

Private Funding

The Antioch Company
Children’s Medical Center
Culture Works
The Dayton Foundation
DP&L Foundation
Fifth Third Bank
Grandview Medical Center
The Iams Company
Iddings Foundation
Knowledge Works Foundation
MeadWestvaco Foundation
NCR Corporation
Premier Health Partners
United Way
University of Dayton
Virginia W. Kettering Foundation