Castlio Elementary Recognized by National Organization for Community Outreach
Posted on 10/25/2016

The National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), established at Johns Hopkins University in 1996, rallies schools and community members to team up and use research-based approaches to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement. And one thing that Castlio Elementary, part of the Francis Howell School District, does extremely well is reaching out to its community. Their recent Health and Wellness Fair modeled for the nation one way a school like Castlio can support the people who live around them, earning them recognition in NNPS’s newsletter, which is distributed nationally.

The school’s principal, Dr. Bridgett Niedringhaus, explained the event, “The Castlio Health and Wellness Fair is an event that has been taking place for several years in the month of February. Parents and students had the opportunity to check out resources on health, fitness, nutrition, safety and many other topics. Activities were provided by several local organizations. For example, there were members of the Ambush professional soccer team present to promote physical fitness, members of a local support network with service dogs, (FHSD Food Services provider) Sodexo shared nutritional information, and much more.”

Type 2, the semiannual newsletter of the NNPS, shares examples of featured practices of school, family, and community partnerships, solutions to challenges, and guidelines for continuous improvement in program development. Named for one of the Six Types of Involvement, that guide the work of members in NNPS, this newsletter is one way that NNPS communicates with members. And Castlio’s Wellness Fair is used as an example of how to engage parents and community partners to improve student health and well-being.

“Castlio strives to provide our families with a well-rounded menu of activities to participate in throughout the school year,” Dr. Niedringhaus said. “The Parent Involvement Team, though supporting a Health and Wellness Fair, would further assist us in meeting the needs of the whole child. We were honored to receive recognition for our efforts.”

And it’s just another way Castlio will continue to support the community that supports them. “Castlio is always looking for ways to reach out to our community,” said Dr. Niedringhaus. “We have recently collected responses on a parent survey that explores other topics that our families have shown an interest in learning. We are offering trainings geared specifically towards those needs.”

Click here to read about two other FHSD schools who were included in the nationally published collection of NNPS Schools, Promising Partnership Practices. Click here for a PDF version of this collection.