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April Newsletter 2015


Vol. XII - Issue 4 - April 2015

In This Issue

Community Schools & the Common Core

If you’re active in the community school world (or in the education world in general) you probably know about the Common Core State Standards, which raise expectations for what all students should know and be able to do when they graduate high school. The goal: prepare each child – regardless of what zip code he or she lives in – for success in college or career.

But what are the lessons learned? How do community schools and common core align? It's time to learn from best practices in the field and figure out what works. Read More>

Roosevelt Elementary - Where Are They Now?


Roosevelt Elementary school in Allentown, PA, received a Community School Award for Excellence in 2013.

We sat down with their new Principal, Erin Martin, and Coordinator, Katherine Jackson to hear about what they’ve been up to since.
Read More >

Partner Spotlight

United Way

Engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide, United Way is focused on creating community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones for a good quality of life in education, financial stability, and health. We talked to Thomasin Franken, Manager of U.S. Impact and Partnerships, to find out more about what United Way is doing to achieve its goals. Read more>

We invite our national partners to nominate their organizations for upcoming partner spotlights. Please contact Perpetual Baffour at

Blog Spotlight

Putnam_Our Kids

Robert Putnam - And Why Community Schools Matter
We shook hands with Robert Putnam, author of Our Kids, a terribly important new book about the opportunity gap last week. Better yet, when we explained that we were the director of the Coalition for Community Schools and National Coalition Chair respectively, he gave us a hearty smile, and encouraged us to continue our important work. Read More>

Growing Momentum for Community Schools at the State Level
The recent rise of community schools legislation in various states is a clear sign that the movement is growing. Just in 2015 alone, legislative champions in eight states across the country have introduced more than ten bills promoting community schools, the most state legislation ever introduced in one year. Read More>

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Upcoming Events:

equity cover

Community Schools and Equity - Changing Systems Webinar
May 6, 1 PM EST
Learn how the community school strategy is being utilized as a vehicle for systems-level change in school funding, teacher preparation, family stability, and student achievement.

National Family and Community Engagement Conference
June 24-26 (Chicago, IL)
We will also be hosting a Community Schools Pre-Conference session at the conference. Don't miss your chance!

Take Action - Ask your Congressional Member to reauthorize ESEA!


Report Offers Case Study of Turnaround at J.C. Nalle Elementary in D.C.

"J.C. Nalle Elementary School was at risk of closure in 2011 because of low academic performance and flagging enrollment. Two years later, the school had the biggest math test score gains in D.C. Public Schools, with a 27 percent increase in proficiency rates." How’d this happen? Explore how they became a community school. Read More >

It’s Time to Trash the Terms "Non-Cogs" and "Soft Skills"

Andy Calkins, Deputy Director of NGLC shares, "They’re everywhere: in print, in conversation, in conference sessions. Invariably, including at SXSWedu last week, references to "the Non-Cognitives" and to "Soft Skills" are accompanied by grimaces and expressions of how much we dislike those terms – but then we use them anyway." Learn why this is an important conversation and why it’s time to come up with a new language. Read More >

COFI and POWER-PAC’s Peace Circles

COFI and POWER-PAC’s parent-initiated model of school-based Peace Centers is now featured in a new video recently released by the City of Chicago - Mayor's Commission for a Safer Chicago. Hear the powerful stories of students, principals, teachers, and parents alike that have been transformed by these restorative justice practices – practices that are working. Read More >

More News



The Coalition for Community Schools believes that strong communities require strong schools and strong schools require strong communities. We envision a future in which schools are centers of thriving communities where everyone belongs, works together, and succeeds. The Coalition advances opportunities for the success of children, families and communities by promoting the development of more and more effective, community schools. The Coalition for Community Schools is housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C.

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