The Netter Center is currently operating remotely. Please contact email@example.com for general inquiries.
University-Assisted Community Schools
COVID-19 Updates: While the Netter Center is working remotely and schools are closed in response to COVID-19, the University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) team is reaching out to UACS students and families with updates and virtual program information through "Letters from Netter." If you would also like to stay connected, sign up for the newsletter HERE.
For current and previous issues of this newsletter, please click HERE.
A major component of the Netter Center's work is mobilizing the vast resources of the University to help traditional public schools become innovative University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) that educate, engage, empower, and serve students, families, and community members. UACS focus on schools as core institutions for community engagement and democratic development, as well as link school day and after school curricula to solve locally identified, real-world, community problems. For neighborhood schools to function as genuine community centers, however, they need additional human resources and support. The Netter Center emphasizes "university-assisted" because universities, indeed higher educational institutions in general, can constitute the strategic sources of broadly based, comprehensive, sustained support for community schools. UACS engage universities as lead partners in providing academic, human, and material resources. This mutually beneficial partnership improves the quality of life and learning in local schools and communities while simultaneously advancing university research, teaching, learning, and service.
UACS programming occurs during the school day, after school, evenings, and summers. These programs and initiatives are supported by government and private funding, as well as the ABCS courses, internships, and work-study and volunteer opportunities that bring hundreds of Penn students into the schools and community.
The Netter Center’s UACS programs in West Philadelphia include children and families at Comegys School (grades K-8), Lea School (K-8), Sayre High School, West Philadelphia High School, Mastery Charter School - Shoemaker Campus (7-12), Hamilton School (K-8), Mitchell School (K-8), and Robeson High School. Comegys, Lea, Sayre, and West are the most intensive UACS sites. Netter Center site directors collaborate closely with each school and its community to determine activities that best serve their specific needs and interests. In addition to coordinating the programs, UACS site directors serve as liaisons between the University and the school, as well as between school day teachers and the after school program.
For more information on specific UACS programs and activities, click on the menu items to the left.
For Penn students who want to work with UACS programs, check out engagement opportunities HERE.
The following publications by Netter Center colleagues detail the history and development of University-Assisted Community Schools: