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Transforming Struggling Schools


Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools

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We are pleased to share that we have written a report with the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Southern Education Foundation entitled Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools.

The report profiles six schools, three districts and a state who have left nothing to chance. They have come to thrive through coordinated implementation of the following six research-based elements of Community Schools. The six elements include:

  •  Engaging curricula that are culturally relevant and challenging.
  • An emphasis on high-quality teaching, not on high-stakes testing.
  • Wrap-around supports and opportunities such as health care, eye care, and social and emotional services that support academics available at the school.
  • Positive discipline practices, such as restorative justice and social and emotional learning supports.
  • Authentic parent and community engagement is promoted so the full community actively participates in planning and decision-making. This process recognizes the link between the success of the school and the development of the community as a whole.
  • Inclusive school leadership who are committed to making the transformational Community School strategy integral to the school’s mandate and functioning.

This report profiles community schools across the country that are implementing evidence-based strategies to bring together the resources of school, family, and community to make schools stronger and help young people thrive.  Through the use of these strategies, the schools profiled in this report have demonstrated consistent improvement in a wide range of indicators of student success.  This report comes at a time when the newly passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reflects a shift toward a broader set of indicators of school success, to include not just test scores but measures of school climate and family engagement.  "It’s clear the tide is turning, as interest in this vision of schooling is now evident in the nation’s major education policy," said Kent McGuire, President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation.
You can read our full press release on the report here. For feeback on the report, feel free to contact our Director of Public Policy, Mary Kingston Roche at 

Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools

Click here to download.

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