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CCPS Community Schools Program — connecting schools to resources

The Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Community Schools program focuses on connecting students, families and surrounding communities to the resources needed in order to survive. Some of these resources include providing additional mentors and restorative coaches, expanding school-based health center services, providing healthy meals in and out of school, and access to mental health practitioners. With nearly 360 community schools throughout Maryland, CCPS currently has five schools that receive supports from the program.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) describes the Community Schools program as one that is supported by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future which is designed to “improve the quality of education for Maryland students and close achievement gaps,” according to the MSDE website.

Since the establishment of the first CCPS community school, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School during the 2021-2022 school year, four other schools have become eligible for services provided by the program. Andrill Harris was the first CCPS community school coordinator serving at Dr. Mudd. Indian Head Elementary School was the second CCPS community school during the 2022-2023 school year. During 2023-2024 school year, Dr. Gustavus Brown, J.P. Ryon and Eva Turner elementary schools also receive support as CCPS community schools.

“Our Community Schools program is entering our third year in Charles County Public Schools. MSDE identifies eligible schools each school year and notifies our school system which schools are eligible to receive Concentration of Poverty grant funds through the Blueprint for Maryland's Future Fund,” Bethany Goodwin, CCPS Community School District Liaison, said. “MSDE is encouraging the growth of community schools throughout the state of Maryland.”

Each CCPS Community School has a Community School coordinator (CSC), one who serves as a leader and liaison within a community school. “I look forward to working collaboratively to build a strong school community that knows and understands how to rely on and trust each other because we genuinely care,” Marissa Ackerman, coordinator at Indian Head, said.

Coordinators ensure that families’ social, emotional, physical and academic needs are being met. “This year I am excited that our team was able to bring an on-site food pantry and a school-based health center that will open next year. Most of all, I look forward to watching our students grow in every way knowing they are safe, loved, and cared for at Indian Head,” Ackerman said.

Community School coordinators work collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders, including school leadership, school staff, students, families and community members. They help to assess the needs within a school and community, foster and coordinate partnerships, provide essential wraparound services to students and their families and commit to create equitable educational opportunities.

“I anticipate continued growth of this program that will extend to additional schools within the next few years,” Goodwin said. Read more about the community schools program at Read about the program on MSDE’s website at

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).