An East Bay school district has been awarded a grant of nearly $30 million from the state to support its schools. 

The West Contra Costa Unified School District in Richmond has been awarded a California Community Schools Partnership Program Implementation Grant of $29.4 million over the next five years. It was awarded to the district by the state Department of Education.

The grant must be approved by the state Board of Education at its meeting on Wednesday.

The grant will allow the district to provide what it calls a set of universal supports to 22 community schools that focus on the integration of positive school climate, community engagement and instruction work.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our district to catalyze and accelerate the development of the next generation of our community schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Hurst. “We are working together towards a day when all students are well-known, well-cared for, and well-prepared in all of the communities we serve.”  

The school district has a rich tradition of community schools organizing. WCCUSD began its community schools strategy in 2007 with the establishment of school-based health centers at six comprehensive high schools. In 2012, the district adopted a Full Service Community Schools Resolution. 

Today, 22 schools participate in the district’s community schools network, offering a wide range of critical services to students, parents, educators, staff, and communities, while building the frameworks for whole school and whole district transformation. 

The funding will allow the district to expand this work and bring it to additional sites, according to a district spokesperson.