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National Models

Beacons Schools - Youth Development Institute
New York City, New York

The Children's Aid Society Community Schools
New York City, New York

Communities In Schools, Inc.
Alexandria, Virginia

Center for Mental Health in Schools: An Enabling Component to Address Barriers to Learning
Los Angeles, California

University Assisted Community Schools
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Schools of the 21st Century
New Haven, Connecticut

Beacon Schools - Youth Development Institute

New York, New York

Beacons are committed to school transformation that aims to promote healthy development and learning among ALL youth, families and community members. Services, opportunities and supports are offered during the day, evenings and on weekends in the school building, effectively opening up the space for use by a broad swath of community residents while simultaneously offering comprehensive supports to the students in the school. At their best, Beacon Community Schools strive for multi-level impact by engaging youth and adults in community development, often with young people at the helm (Youth Development Institute, 2009).

Today, Beacons across the country serve over 180,000 children, youth and adults with vibrant initiatives in New York City, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Denver. Although BCS are designed to adjust to the needs of the communities in which they exist, there are several common characteristics. Beacons:

  • Are led by community organizations and based in schools or public housing facilities
  • Use a youth development approach
  • Use a community-youth development framework
  • Build a structure for interagency collaboration, programming and partnership
  • Share responsibility with partners to support a broad set of outcomes for youth, families and communities

For more information review a White Paper on Beacon Community Schools. Please contact Sarah Zeller-Berkman, PhD Director of the Community-Youth Development Unit at The Youth Development Institute, szellerberkman@ydinstitute.org or 212 590-9437.

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The Children's Aid Society Community Schools

New York, New York

The Children's Aid Society (CAS) currently operates 21 community schools in New York City. These community schools are the result of partnerships between CAS, the New York City Board of Education, the school district and community based partners. The aim is to develop a model of public schools that combines teaching and learning with the delivery of an array of social, health, child and youth development services, while emphasizing community and parental involvement.

A CAS Community School is a public school that combines best educational practices with in-house youth development, health and social services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally and socially prepared to learn.CAS, through its National Technical Assistance Center, also offers training and guidance in all aspects of designing and implementing the CAS community school model to suit the unique needs and strengths of individual communities.

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Communities In Schools, Inc.

Alexandria, Virginia

 

Communities In Schools, Inc. (CIS) is a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Communities In Schools is comprised of 200 local and state affiliates operating in 28 states and the District of Columbia who serve 1.25 million students and their families in 2,400 schools. Their holistic approach addresses both the academic and nonacademic needs of the student through an integrated student services model. This model positions caring, full-time site coordinators inside public schools to work with school staff to better identify students in need, and then provides those resources through community partnerships.
 
CIS is actively engaged with policy makers, school staff, parents and business partners to ensure that Communities In Schools’ services are extended to as many K-12 students as possible and that those students have access to college. Independent research demonstrates that Communities In Schools is one of a very few organizations proven to keep students in school and the only one to document that it increases graduation rates.
 
The evidence-based model of CIS has allowed them to secure additional public and private dollars. CIS national has invested $20 million back into state and local programs within the CIS network in the last three years. During the 2010-11 school year, their evidence-based, cost-effective model and commitment to quality resulted in improved results for students. Of 157,000 case-managed students, 97% remained in school, 88% of eligible seniors graduated 84% were promoted to the next grade, and 81% enrolled in some form of post-secondary education. Two-thirds of teachers surveyed believe Communities In Schools help them better serve their students. These results were attainable through the shared mission of CIS to give students the support and encouragement they need through caring adults and to provide centralized, strategically aligned community resources to help those kids stay in school and succeed in life.
 
Communities In Schools, Inc. (CIS) is a national organization, with more than 181 local CIS initiatives, that provides a flexible approach/process for states and localities interested in building school-community partnerships. CIS offers information, training, technical support and linkages to a national network of local, independent CIS sites and affiliates across the country. CIS encourages innovation and the sharing of best practices and awards, special grants and nationally leveraged resources to members of its network.

 

Supported by both public and private dollars, CIS awarded more than $3.3 million to state and local programs participating in time-limited national initiatives in 1996. Grants were targeted at seeding local sites, developing programmatic initiatives and building self-sufficiency at CIS initiatives. The shared mission is to bring services into schools; connect young people to caring adults; and see to it that young people stay in school, develop skills and contribute to their communities. Sixteen state CIS organizations also operate to replicate the CIS stay-in-school approach and secure state support for local programs. CIS partnerships, operating in more than 1,500 school sites, serve more than 350,000 children and their families.

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Center for Mental Health in Schools: An Enabling Component to Address Barriers to Learning

Los Angeles, California

Addressing barriers to learning should not be seen as being at odds with the "paradigm shift" that emphasizes strengths, resilience, assets, and protective factors. Efforts to enhance positive development and improve instruction clearly can improve readiness to learn. Based particularly on the work of several comprehensive initiatives, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is a need to expand school reform. Several of these initiatives are restructuring education support programs under the umbrella of a newly conceived reform component that focuses directly on addressing barriers to learning and development. This component is to be fully integrated with the others and assigned equal priority in policy and practice.

The concept of an enabling component embraces a focus on healthy development, prevention, and addressing barriers. In addressing barriers to student learning, pioneering initiatives are beginning to improve school and classroom environments to prevent problems and enhance youngsters' strengths. At the same time, for those who need something more, school and community, working separately and together, provide essential supports and assistance.

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University Assisted Community Schools

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Netter Center for Community Partnerships, based out of the University of Pennsylvania, is a national partner in the community schools movement. Their University-Assisted Community School Program engages students (K-16+) in real world, community problem solving that is integrated into the school curriculum as well as through extended day programs. The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships functions as the integrating vehicle to effectively align Penn’s numerous schools and departments in order to help develop and maintain university-assisted community schools and bring about mutually beneficial collaboration.

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Schools of the 21st Century

New Haven, Connecticut

The School of the 21st Century (21C) is a model for school-based child care and family support services. 21C was conceptualized at the Yale University Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy by Professor Edward Zigler, one of the architects of the federal Head Start program. Professor Zigler recognized that the changes in patterns of work and family life in recent decades require schools to assume an expanded role in the delivery of child care and family support programs to ensure that children arrive at school ready to learn and that they receive the support necessary for academic success.

The 21C model transforms the traditional school into a year-round, multi-service center providing high-quality, accessible services from early morning to early evening. It also eliminates the distinction between child care and education, recognizing that learning begins at birth and occurs in all settings. Children will not succeed academically or socially unless their parents have the supports they need to be their first and best teachers. Young children need to be in caring and enriching settings long before kindergarten. Once in school, children need safe and enriching environments during non-school hours. In addition, children’s basic needs, such as nutrition and health, must be met in order for children to develop properly and succeed academically. The ultimate goal of the School of the 21st Century is to help provide affordable, accessible and high-quality services for all families, regardless of income level, to ensure the optimal development of children.

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