How TorC Community Schools are Making a Difference

The Community Schools Core Team with Dr. Renee Garcia and Rev. Dr. Anne Hays Egan

 October 2021

The Community Schools are making a positive difference in the lives of students, families, teachers, our schools and our communities.  Thanks to the Community Schools staff, District council, Superintendent, Dr. Channell Segura and School Board President Brett Smith, the Community Schools have created healthier schools and communities. Many hands have contributed to making things better. Here’s how:

Integrated Student Supports (ISS). Staff meet families where they live – literally. Helping families with food, utilities, back needs, visiting them, providing counseling and supports, and referring them to resources makes a huge difference. This is accomplished through many services provided by the Community Schools staff, as well as through a broad, diverse mix of partnerships with community agencies that provide many other services and resources. The results? The work has helped stabilize families by providing resources and services which are especially needed during Covid.

Enhanced and Enriched Learning. Most of us learn in different ways, and we’ve got a variety of types of skills. Thank goodness! Many of us also need extra help from time to time. Community Schools staff provide that extra special sauce! That includes tutoring and mentoring for any student who needs a boost. There are the art and AG projects at the Hot Springs High. There are hands-on learning, through planting and tending a garden, community clean up volunteer projects, to on-the-job experiences to learn about different work opportunities from community members. Staff have also reached out to students who haven’t been active in school to let them, and their families know they are missed, and they matter. Many students were brought back into active engagement, especially at Hot Springs High, last year, and were able to do better in school. All of that continues this year and is expanding. If you have some ideas about providing hands-on learning opportunities, please let us know by phone 575-894-8187 or email

Active Family & Community Engagement.  Thanks to active involvement of parents, community members and agencies, there is now a rich web of people who are supporting teachers, families, students, and schools. Dozens of partnerships enrich the life of each school and leverage community assets to multiply the system’s effectiveness. The partnerships are deep and wide, thanks to many of you. They include local basic needs providers, youth serving agencies, behavioral health providers, law enforcement, local government, healthcare organizations, local businesses, and Sierra County. Thanks to these partnerships, more food is available to families in need; internet hot spots improve coverage; a new park and baseball field are being built; resources are donated; and partnerships have brought resources into the schools. This represents a community reaching out to care for the kids and families – to make a collective difference.

Collaborative Leadership. The leadership is changing as people reach out to engage our families, community members, and community agencies. School leaders are asking community members for feedback and input. There were over 200 responses to our recent district and community survey, which will help all of our schools. We’ll be sharing a summary with the community and holding some meetings in 2022 to discuss what’s most important to you and hear your suggestions.

We appreciate everyone who is contributing to this community-wide work to create caring, community schools. Thanks to School Board President Brett Smith, Superintendent Channell Segura, County Manager Charlene Webb, City Manager Bruce Swingle, and everyone who is involved. It works!