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'A really long time coming': Sabal Palm becomes a community partnership school

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Leon County School District; the Florida A&M College of Education; Florida State University PrimaryHealth and the Children's Home Society of Florida make 25-year commitment to school

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the first 21st Century Community Learning School Site

Sabal Palm Elementary | From left to right; Anicia Robinson, Sabal Palm Elementary School Principle and Dr. Allyson Watson, Dean of FAMU College of Education


"In 25 years, we will truly see the impact of our collective efforts to bring academic enrichment and support and a holistic approach to improving the lives of students."

The secret? A wide array of services in a poverty-stricken, high-crime area: food, health care, counseling, tutoring, internships and other supports – not only to students and their families but to the entire neighborhood.


"The whole atmosphere at that school changed," Ziffer said.

It's changed even more since his visit, with even better outcomes in many cases.

Meanwhile, the number of community partnership schools has grown to 15 statewide, and the 2019 Legislature allocated $7.1 million in recurring funds to encourage more.


And four years after Ziffer's visit to Evans, Tallahassee cut the ribbon Tuesday morning on its first community partnership school, Sabal Palm Elementary in the southwest part of the city.

The initial location has changed, along with some of the players, but the guiding principle has not: four key partners, each with a 25-year commitment: the Leon County School District; the Florida A&M College of Education; Florida State University PrimaryHealth, overseen by its College of Medicine; and the Children's Home Society of Florida.




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