Community Schools

Struggling students and their families have a hard time navigating the maze of services. There may be plenty of resources in a community, but rarely is there someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with the schools and students that need them most. Through a school-based coordinator, we bring these local resources into the school where they are accessible, coordinated and aimed towards the same goal.

Snack Drive!

Support the Community Schools resource centers by donating non perishable snack items. Drop off at the TOGETHER! Main office located at 1520 Irving St. SW Ste. A Tumwater WA 98512

Client feedback

We love hearing feedback from the community. Please take 5 minutes to fill out an anonymous questionair and let the Community Schools team know how we are doing. Thank you!

Equity Vs. Equality

It’s important to understand that equity is different from equality, in that equality means that all students get the same thing. But when schools strive to provide equity, it means that every child gets what they need. Or, as 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples once said, “Equality is everyone gets shoes. Equity is all the shoes fit.”

Creating lasting equity in health and education takes mobilization of multiple partners to change systems that serve kids and families. Our Community Schools Initiative tackles barriers students and families face to their health, well-being and success. Using the research based national Community Schools model, we transform schools and communities to ensure every child has an equitable opportunity to succeed in school and life. Using a whole child mindset, we mobilize partners and schools to transform systems of care for children. We know from research that health and education are intimately related. Ensuring students graduate from high school and are on track for post-secondary success is an important step in ensuring a lifetime of success, health and well-being.

TOGETHER! is currently partnering with the Tumwater School District and the Olympia School District to implement this model in elementary, middle, and high schools.


Meet our team!

Current Projects & Events

New Partnership Warms Our Winter & Our Hearts: 

Olympia School District and TOGETHER! launch partnership to support students

The Olympia School District and TOGETHER!'s Community Schools Program are excited to announce the launch of a partnership this year to help ensure students get the supports they need to succeed in school and in life.


The Community Schools Initiative works to address the needs of the whole child by leveraging partners and resources in the following areas:

  • Basic Needs

  • Physical Health

  • Family Engagement

  • Enrichment

  • Community and Service Learning


TOGETHER! Community Schools Case Managers are assigned to OSD middle and high schools to help support students and families. Already this fall case managers, in partnership with school staff, have assisted students with supports such as homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing of families experiencing homelessness, distribution of more than 350 holiday meal boxes to students and families in the district, provision of direct 1:1 support for over 30 families, and support for existing and expanded after-school programs and lunchtime support and enrichment activities.


"We are so appreciative of our partnership with the TOGETHER! Community Schools program," said Superintendent Patrick Murphy. "TOGETHER! staff, in partnership with OSD employees in our middle and high schools, are working hard to remove educational barriers for some of our most vulnerable students by connecting them and their families to critical educational and community-based resources. These supports, often as basic as food, clothing and transportation, are critical to our students' overall success."


"The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the need for initiatives that partner with students and families farthest from educational justice," said TOGETHER! Executive Director Meagan Darrow. "We are proud to partner with OSD to address both the concrete needs of students and families while also improving the system of care for students and families in schools. We aim to bridge the gap between schools and community resources and social services to increase the equitable distribution of tailored supports to improve learning and belonging in the Olympia Schools." 


To learn more about the program at each school, visit the TOGETHER! Partnership webpages on each school website:

Using schools as hubs, Community Schools bring a range of community supports and opportunities, and remove barriers for students and families, resulting in improved student learning, and healthier communities. The Community Schools program is one of three core services offered by TOGETHER!. For questions about the program, please contact TOGETHER!'s Olympia Community Schools Director Michael Dennis at or (360) 819-0277.




Mobile Community Resource Centers

Every child walks into their classroom each day with varying preparedness to learn. It’s possible that a student may be experiencing a turbulent home life, hungry, facing housing instability, lack of medical resources, technology disparity or any other barrier that might be keeping them from succeeding in school. Increasingly, schools recognize that in order to learn, students need individualized supports. 


















That is why it's so important to us, especially during a time of a global pandemic, that our Community Schools team is mobile, working closely with students and families to remove barriers and meet basic needs.

We maintain Community Resource Centers in every school we serve, where students can easily and discreetly access all of the basic needs that keep them healthy and happy during school and over the summer. Each Community Resource Center also serves as a point of entry into Community Schools wraparound services, where staff can get to know a student's individual needs and offer sustainable assistance. The Community Resource Center is the hub and the footprint of Community Schools in each building and all of the work we do spreads out from there, yet in a time of this global pandemic, we have moved all of our support services to be accessible remotely.




Want to support the Tumwater and Olympia communities?

TOGETHER! works in partnership with Tumwater & Olympia School Districts, local churches, teachers, Rotary Clubs, Foundations, Non-Profit organizations and student leadership groups to help manage and maintain physical and mobile pantries full of items children and families need most. 

In order to continue our mission we would love support from our community in the form of donation of funds and products. To donate funds, visit our donate page, and to donate food or other key items, check our list below, or check out the Tumwater Community Schools Facebook page and the Olympia Community Schools Facebook page for updates on current top needs. 



The Community Schools Initiative in Practice

Our model’s integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. The approach is adapted to meet each school’s unique needs.

Many children face challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Through a school-based site manager, our initiative strategically aligns and leverages needed resources so that students can focus on learning.

Areas of Support
When it comes to making sure kids get the supports that they need to succeed in school and in life, we never give up. The Community Schools Initiative works to address the needs of the whole child by leveraging partners and resources. Some of the barriers that students face can include:

  • Experiencing family or personal crisis

  • In need of mental health services

  • Living in poverty

  • Coming to school hungry

  • In need of healthcare

  • Homeless or living in temporary housing

  • Language barriers

  • Time management


Initiative Resources:

Executive Summary 

Results Framework


Partnering School Districts


Olympia School District

Capital High School 

Program Manager:
Paulie Schreck (she, her)

Olympia High School &
Freedom Farmers 

Program Manager:
Kamryn McLean (she, her)

Jefferson Middle School &
Marshall Middle School

Program Manager:
Sarina Corpuz (she, her)

Reeves Middle School &
Washington Middle School
Program Manager:
Diana Perez (she, her)


Tumwater School District 

Black Hills High School

Program Manager:
Victoria O'Bleness (she, her)

Tumwater High School

Program Manager:
Stephanie Lopez (she, her)

Black Lake Elementary,
Littlerock Elementary &
Peter G. Schmidt Elementary

Program Manager:
Aaron Polasky (he, him)

East Olympia Elementary,
Michael T. Simmons Elementary &
Tumwater Hill Elementary

Program Manager:
Courtney Prothero (she, her)


Thank you to our Partners


If you are interested in supporting our Olympia Community Schools program, please contact:

Michael Dennis
Work Cell: (360) 819-0277

Olympia Community Schools Facebook

If you are interested in supporting our Tumwater Community Schools program, please contact:

Sierra Abrams
Work Cell: (360) 999-0092

Tumwater Community Schools Initiative Funders:
Tumwater School District
Community Investment Partnership
Tumwater Rotary

Tumwater Community Schools Facebook

“The Tumwater Community Schools partnership with TOGETHER! has become an essential part of our mutual effort to support students and families facing challenges in their lives which impact the ability to learn.  Our growing list of community partners wanting to support and expand this effort would not have been possible without the amazing leadership, networking, and support our TOGETHER! team provides. Thank you to the entire TOGETHER! organization for the important work you do in support of children and families!" - Partner John Bash