What is a Community School?
A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. It has an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement that leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
Where are the Community Schools Located?
Why Do We Need
Research tells us that young people need a wide range of opportunities available to them in order to succeed. All of our children, regardless of their economic situation and racial or family circumstances, deserve access to opportunities which will allow for success.
There are many challenges to schools and educators today that Community Schools address:
§ Cultural differences
§ Too much unstructured time
§ Disinterest in the educational process
§ Health concerns
§ Unsafe school environments
§ Lack of funding for schools
What is the Vision for a Community School?
Schools and communities must work to fulfill five conditions for every child to succeed.
1. The school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, and high standards and expectations for students. High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community's assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
2. Students are motivated and engaged in learning - both in school and in community settings, during and after school. Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
3. The basic physical, mental and emotional health needs of young people and their families are recognized and addressed. Family resource centers, early childhood development programs, coordinated health, mental health and social services, counseling, and other supports enhance family life by building upon individuals' strengths and skills.
4. There is mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents, families and school staff. Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
5. Community engagement, together with school efforts, promotes a school climate that is safe, supportive and respectful and connects students to a broader learning community. All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.
United States Secretary of Education
on the Charlie Rose Show March 11, 2009
(total show length 54:14)
What Programs are Offered
in Community Schools?
In a community school, youth, families and community residents work as equal partners with schools and other community institutions to develop programs and services in five areas:
1. Quality Education - High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community's assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
2. Youth Development - Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
3. Family Support - Family resource centers, early childhood development programs, coordinated health, mental health and social services, counseling, and other supports enhance family life by building upon individuals' strengths and skills.
4. Family and Community Engagement - Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
5. Community Development - All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.
(total show length 58:33)
What are the Guiding Principles
of Community Schools?
There are many national models for community schools that share a core set of operating beliefs:
- Foster Strong Partnerships - Partners share their resources and expertise and work together to design community schools and make them work.
- Share Accountability for Results - Clear, mutually agreed-upon results drive the work of community schools. Data helps partners measure progress toward results. Agreements enable them to hold each other accountable and move beyond "turf battles."
- Set High Expectations for All - Community schools are organized to support learning. Children, youth and adults are expected to learn at high standards and be contributing members of their community.
- Build on the Community's Strengths - Community schools monitor the assets of the entire community - including the people who live and work there, local organizations, and the school.
- Embrace Diversity - Community schools know their communities. They work to develop respect and a strong, positive identity for people of diverse backgrounds and are committed to the welfare of the whole community.
Do Community Schools Work?
Nationwide studies conclude that community schools have a positive impact on what matters most to students, parents, communities and schools. Here are some findings:
· Student learning improves.
· Parent and family participation in their children’s education and in the school increases.
· Principals and teachers have more time for quality instruction because the school’s community partners help address non-academic barriers to learning.
· Families have more opportunities and support in caring for and helping to educate their children, and in contributing to their community.
Community schools generate other positive outcomes as well. Improved safety and security, increased community pride, stronger relationships between school and community, and greater utilization of schools and other public services and facilities all reflect the broader “community-building” role of community schools. Community schools and their students come to be seen as valued resources, and communities feel a great stake in and accountability for student success.
Where can I See Some Examples of a Community School in Action?
Click these links to find examples of national models and state models as well as local communities that are developing extensive networks of community schools.
What are the Redmond School District
Community Schools Grant Goals?
*“Targeted Population”- Students scoring below benchmark up to three points above benchmark levels
1. Annually Increase the RIT scores in reading and math of students scoring below benchmark and up to three points above benchmark levels- Goal all students meet 8th grade benchmarks
· Growth RIT points by student
2. Annually Increase student engagement by 10% as determined by increased attendance, increased grade GPA, and decreased referrals using PBS data
· Attendance data
· Grade data
· PBS Data
3. Annually Increase parent involvement in school activities and support for learning for the identified population to reach the targeted 80% goal.
· Growth in conference attendance, parent programming attendance, support of student learning as determined by:
· Tools for evaluation- Parent pre and post surveys collect attendance data
4. Collect and record data weekly using Excel
5. Create trimester evaluations reports at the end of each trimester to determine growth toward the listed goals- Excel
6. Create a year end evaluation report that summarizes the result of the yearlong data collection- excel- merge to ODE reporting tool
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If you have questions, suggestions or a new partnership please contact
District Community School Coordinator