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Top Community Schools Research

Great strides have been made by community school initiatives across the nation in their efforts to impact student achievement, attendance, student engagement, graduation rates, parent involvement and more. Data on community schools is growing and we encourage readers to review research reports and syntheses on results. The following is an overview of results gathered from community schools around the nation from 2007-2009.

Academic Performance
  • National — Communities in Schools (CIS), the largest nationwide model of community schools, reported that schools that fully implement the CIS Model of integrated student services have higher percentages of students achieving math and reading proficiency than did students in other schools.
  • California -- Anna Yates Elementary School in Alameda County saw an increase in their API (California State’s Academic Performance Index, which is more rigorous than AYP) by 41 points and Emery Secondary School. These results in student achievement are further highlighted when compared to an average increase of 19.2 points for the 15 others districts in Alameda County. These scores are almost double the average county rate of increase.
  • New York, NY — In a 2009 study comparing Children’s Aid Society (CAS) community schools to other New York City schools, CAS schools’ students scored significantly higher on math tests than students in other city schools. All CAS middle schools but one (IS 166) outperformed peer and city-wide schools in making one year of progress, with MS 319 and MS 324 at 100 percent, and CAS middle schools academically outperformed peer schools in math progress for the lowest 1/3 of students.

Graduation Rates, Attendance and Dropout Rates
  • Providence, RI - In data collected in late 2009, there were 55% fewer incidences of chronic absenteeism among participants in Providence Full Service Community Schools’ (FSCS) programs than in the general school population and children with parents in Family Literacy had a 97.3% attendance rate.
  • Philadelphia, PA - Sayre High School’s first senior class had a 90% graduation rate compared to a city-wide rate around 50%. Of these graduates, 56% enrolled in post-secondary education, and community school partners helped secure more than $50,000 in scholarships.

Improved Behavior
  • Philadelphia, PA - In Shaw Middle School, a community school partnering with the University of Pennsylvania, saw suspensions decrease from 464 to 163 over a span of six years.

Parent Involvement
  • Arlington, VA —Carlin Springs Elementary School serves a high population of children from non-English speaking families. To improve communications with parents, the school provides adult ESL classes. This effort has paid off as 95% of parents taking ESL classes also attended parent-teacher conferences at the school and report that they are now more likely to be engaged in their children’s education.

For more on community school results, check out some of the Following Publications:
Community Schools – Results That Turn Around Failing Schools
Coalition for Community Schools Research Brief 2009
AFT's American Educator Magazine, "Surrounded By Support"-Summer 2009

Also  visit the Coalition's Resource Library for more publicaitons.. If you are a community school and have data on your community schools, please email

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