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How to Become a Partner?

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Partnerships are essential to the Coalition’s work and success. All partners are guided by the Coalition’s shared vision, mission, and principles:

Vision: Schools are centers of flourishing communities where everyone belongs, works together, and thrives.

Mission: To unite school, community and family for young people’s success.

Principles: Partners in the Coalition for Community Schools believe that public education is essential for strong communities and a flourishing economy and democracy. We pledge to lead across organizational and institutional boundaries to ensure that all young people are prepared for college, careers, and citizenship. These principles guide our work together:
• Equity
• Learning and Development
• Community Engagement
• Family Engagement
• Youth Leadership and Engagement
• Results-Driven Partnership

The community school strategy provides access and leverage of local resources and programs, changing the look and feel of the traditional school structure to best meet the needs of children and families in the 21st century.

"NEA’s members and leaders believe Community Schools address and support the needs of the whole child, and wholly support the Full Service Community Schools Strategy. This is exemplified at the highest levels of leadership and through the grassroots work at the local association level." - Sonia Jasso Yilmaz, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association (NEA) -

"CIS is a model of Community Schools.  It embraces all the principles of the Community School movement.  CIS sees itself as a colleague among many who are in this movement.  As such we are committed to learning with the Community Schools movement, contributing in ways that strengthen the movement." -  Dan Cardinali , President, Communities In Schools, Inc. -

What does it mean to be a Coalition Partner?

The partnership commitments described below explain what is expected of Coalition partners. Acting together as trusting partners maximizes our goal of growing quality community schools that give every child every chance.

 The Coalition’s partners recognize that collaboration and partnership can be hard – but working through challenges is essential in order to maximize our impact for all children.

Coalition Partner Commitments |Download Coalition Partner Commitments|

The following commitments will help guide the ways in which partners work together to promote community schools.


·         Respect one another’s work, offer constructive feedback, build trust through open and honest communication, and act like partners.

·         Know the expertise of partners and reach out to collaborate.

·         Strengthen Coalition partners because that strengthens our movement.

·         Commit to continuous learning about what works and contribute to a growing body of evidence for the principles of community schools.

·         Actively communicate first with one another (or appropriate parties), and then Coalition staff and Steering Committee members when issues arise in a place or around an opportunity.


Local and State Action

·         Look for opportunities to connect one another’s local affiliates.

·         Scan the environment before acting to see what community schools-related work is happening and what other partners are doing with schools around implementation, funding, and policy.

·         Recognize that communities will have different needs, and consider which partners may be the best fit.

·         Adhere to a common understanding of community school principles and when appropriate, standards.

·         Be transparent when starting work in new places in order to build connections with existing partners’ work and demonstrate a unified vision to local policymakers and leaders.


Representing the Coalition for Community Schools

·         As partners, represent the Coalition and community schools in your advocacy and communications (e.g., website, newsletter), at your conferences and in your work, in research, and with others in your organization, wherever possible.

·         Share Coalition commitments with members and affiliates at state and local levels.


Coalition actions to support commitments:

·       Hold bi-annual meetings and regular newsletters for Partners and Steering Committee. Facilitate other networks (e.g., Community Schools Leadership Network) as needed and work to connect partners across networks.

·        Map where partners are supporting local community schools to facilitate partner communications about what they are doing to grow community schools and where.

·        Share information about partner institution expertise (e.g., website links, newsletter partner features, research, etc.).

·        List partners on the Coalition website with links to partner websites.

·        Coalition policy actions and publications will be based on an agreed-upon vision and principles for community schools.

·         Partner names will not be included on any Coalition policy positions without their explicit approval.


How to become a Coalition Partner?

To inquire about becoming a Coalition partner, please contact Reuben Jacobson,

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