Orange Community School Initiative
In 2013 Montclair State University launched a university-assisted community school initiative to help educate, engage, empower, members of the Rosa Parks and Oakwood Avenue School communities in Orange, New Jersey. The OCSI (Orange Community School Initiative) grew from the ongoing community school project at Rosa Parks and a year-long JP Morgan Chase Foundation planning grant that developed the needs assessment with Oakwood Avenue School and its community. The OCSI works to align University expertise and resources in a community engagement strategy to address pressing educational, social, and economic needs of the of the partner schools and their communities by uniting nonprofits, governmental agencies, the business community, and institutions of higher education in common purpose.
Montclair State University and the Orange Public School District, with representatives of the Rosa Parks and Oakwood Avenue school administration have undergone the process of developing a university-assisted community school model. During 2013-14 foundational year, time and energy focused on creating structures to support a flourishing community school model. Efforts made around gaining buy-in from various stakeholders at the University, schools, district, and local communities resulted in partnerships, programming, events, and increased engagement within each school. Through on-going conversations and collaborative planning, MSU and the OPSD are committed to creating a sustainable framework for the flourishing of Community Schools in Orange, New Jersey.
The OCSI is made possible with a generous funding from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the NJ Commission for National and Community Service.