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Principals play a key role in the community school strategy. They are central to promoting the community school vision. Hundreds of principals across the nation are choosing to implement community schools.  

Working in close collaboration with the community school coordinator, the principal builds partnerships with community based organizations, higher education institutions, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, among others to address the needs of their students, families, and the community.  Together, they form the school-site leadership group that is responsible for planning, implementation, and continuous improvement of the community school strategy.

School leaders ensure that implementation satisfies local needs, aligns with the school’s academic mission, and generate practice knowledge and data to inform improvements in community-wide policy and site practice.

Nationally, the Coalition has a strong partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Both of these associations believe in and support the community school strategy.  

Learn how other principals are utilizing the community school strategy to transform their schools through these resources.

Resources for Principals

Reports & Articles

Community & Family Engagement: Principals Share What Works presents six keys to engaging families, staff, partners, and the community.

Mutual Support: The Community Schools Strategy (NASSP, Principal Leadership) offers examples of principals using the community school strategy and suggests steps principals can take to turn their school into a community school.

Education and Community Building: Connecting Two Worlds helps principals understand how to work more effective with community-based parters. 

"The image of the isolated principal, working alone in an empty school building after formal classes end, is a relic of the past in many communities. In its place a new picture is emerging—one in which schools stay open evenings and weekends and students and community members learn in new ways during more hours of the day. Led by principals who work across traditional boundaries and develop new kinds of relationships that help them do their jobs more effectively, these efforts benefit students and, in turn, their families and communities."


High performing community schools -- the 2011 Community Schools Award Winners:

See how community schools diversity funding:
Financing community schools
case studies

Learn about high-performing high schools in the Coalition report: Raising Graduation and College Going Rates: Community High School Case Studies


Coordinator Job Description (sample)
Parnterships: Memorandum of Understanding (sample)
Community Schools Evaluation Toolkit
See the types of partners involved in the school site leadership structure:


Principal of Peck Full Service Community School in Holyoke, Dr. Paul Hyry-Dermith, with CBS 3 Springfield Reporter about Community Schools

Tulsa, OK: Principal Theresa Kiger, of Roy Clark Elementary, receives the 2011 National Community Schools Award

Nashville, TN : Former Principal Tony Majors, of Glencliff High School, receives the 2011 National Community Schools Award

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