City, School Leaders Discuss Collaborations
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 03, 2012, May 03, 2012

With nothing but a student ID, Arlington students can download digital material from city libraries.

An innovating program offers teenagers the opportunity to gain experience in firefighting.

Drop-out prevention services will reach students with evening classes, counseling and homework help.

These are just a few of the partnerships between the city and school district.

City and school district leaders said they would search for more such collaborations at a joint meeting Wednesday evening at the Mac Bernd Professional Development center.

Current partnerships include:

Libraries in schools

Arlington libraries offer a variety of programs at schools, including Library LiNK, which was initiated in 2007 at Roark Elementary and has since expanded to six more campuses.

As part of the program, school libraries are open outside regular school hours to the families of children attending the schools. Library users can request material from the library, which is delivered to the schools, and school library staff can issue Arlington Public Library cards to adults and children.

"We have high hopes of working together even more successfully in the future," said Cary Siegfried, director of libraries.

Fire/Water Intern Programs

The new Fire Academy - which aims to turn out ready-to-hire graduates certified as firefighters and emergency medical technicians - has proven popular, said Marcelo Cavazos, deputy superintendent for Arlington schools.

So far, 23 students are enrolled. For next year, the program has received 49 qualified applicants and must choose 25.

"Word has certainly gotten out at high schools, and there is a lot of interest, said Marcelo Cavazos, deputy superintendent for Arlington schools.

The academy, the first of its kind in the Metroplex, is a joint venture of the school district, Arlington Fire Department and Tarrant County College.

"This prepares students for the competitive world of fire service," Fire Chief Don Crowson said, adding that parents have raved about the program.

A similar program is preparing students for careers in areas of water service. This year, 13 students are enrolled; next year, 20 have joined.

Girls Inc.

Built by the city in 1981 on land owned by the school district, the vacant Girls Inc. building will be put to use again.

The building has been vacant since 2009, when the nonprofit Girls Inc. closed the community youth center.

Now, the city has turned over the land and the building to the school district, which is renovating it as a center for dropout prevention and family literacy programs for at-risk students and their families. It is expected to open in September and serve 575 students a year.

Future collaborations

City and school leaders also discussed sharing the Canon Print Center, which the city already shares with the University of Texas at Arlington, and combining fleet services, which includes diesel fuel, towing and body work. Both partnerships could save taxpayers money, officials said.

Watch the joint meeting on YouTube

Discuss Collaborations

Arlington ISD, Library, News