On page 6-9 of the budget there is a reference in part-time salaries related to the Kennedy Cluster program. Please discuss the likely impact by updating the current status of the Kennedy Cluster work.
The work of the Kennedy Project continues to be conducted through ahe Multi-Agency Team. The team is co-chaired by Mrs. Fran Brenneman, Director of Child and AdolescentSchool and Community Based Services, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the CountyExecutive’s appointed project manager for the county government side of the Kennedy Project, and Mr. Donald Kress, the Superintendent’s appointed project manager for the school system’s side of the project. The Multi-Agency Team meets on the first and third Monday of each month at John F. KennedyHigh School. Cases are referred to the Multi-Agency Team by principals of the project schools (Kennedy High School, Argyle Middle School, Lee Middle School, Bel Pre Elementary School, Georgian Forest Elementary School, Glenallan Elementary School, and Strathmore Elementary School) using criteria that were developed by the project’s operational group.The Multi-Agency Team deals with an average of twelve cases per month.
The County Council has not included any dedicated funding for the Kennedy Project in the budget for the past three fiscal years, and the only dedicated funding provided by the Board of Education for the past three fiscal years has been part-time salaries for project management. Therefore, the Multi-Agency Team must try to address the needs of the referred families through resources that are available within the existing budgets of participating agencies. Despite the lack of dedicated funding, the Multi-Agency Team has been able to provide the following services to referred families during the current fiscal year: housing assistance, cash assistance, utilities assistance, medical assistance, food stamps, other food assistance programs, new and donated clothing, legal assistance, individual and family mental health counseling, mentoring, tutoring, recreation programs, gang intervention, day care assistance, furniture acquisition, and job training assistance.
The reach of the project goes beyond just the seven project schools. To be referred, a student must be enrolled in one of the seven project schools, including choice programs at both the middle and high school levels within the Down-County Consortium. A referred student is likely to have siblings at other schools outside the Kennedy Cluster. Since the objective of the Multi-Agency Team is to address the needs of the referred student’s family, the effects of the Kennedy Project extend throughout the down-county area.