Community Schools

Community Schools

Engage students. Empower families. Enhance neighborhoods.

The Appleton Area School District (AASD) is implementing a more focused effort to connect the school with the community. Jefferson Elementary will be the first school site to be a Community School.

Within each community school is a central gathering place called the Community Resource Center (CRC) and a full-time key point person, the Community Schools Resource Coordinator (CSRC). The CRC at Jefferson Elementary will provide services and resources to students, staff, families, and the surrounding neighborhood. The CSRC’s primary role is to coordinate efforts with community agencies and organizations to meet the needs of Jefferson’s diverse populations. 

A goal for the first year is to conduct a needs assessment for the 19-20 school year to evaluate current programs and future opportunities. 


Through intentional connections, resources, and services, we will enhance student learning, strengthen families and support healthy neighborhoods by reducing systemic barriers.

The core purpose of Community Schools is to ensure equitable access to: 
  • Essential resources and services 
  • Stronger connections with students, families, and neighborhoods 
  • Academic preparation and persistence
  • A safe, supportive, and inclusive environment

Community Schools will impact and ripple out, leading to
  • Living and sustaining healthy lifestyles  
  • Engaged students and families 
  • Increased civic and community services
  • Inspire and empower others 

Community Schools Resource Coordinator

My name is Leah Zwiers and I’m overjoyed to begin this adventure as the new Community School Resource Coordinator at Jefferson and Fox River Academy. While this position is new for me, the school community here at Jefferson and FRA is not.

Over the past few years, I’ve been a substitute teacher, the YMCA Afterschool Coordinator, and even an Afterschool Staff member for many years before that. It truly feels like home to me and I’m excited to take this new opportunity and make it into something amazing for our community.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a teaching certification from UW-Stevens Point and spent a remarkable semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador. Outside of work, I am a mother to a smart, silly, and free-spirited 2 year old daughter, Nora, who lights up any room with her singing, dancing, and laughter. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends, cook and bake, kayak, and explore the outdoors, but only when it’s not too cold.

Here’s to starting off the new year with a new opportunity at a not-so-new place that feels like home!

Leah Zwiers

Community Schools Resource Coordinator
Leah Zwiers

The Community Resource Center is located in Jefferson Elementary, Room 121.