Coalition for Community Schools - Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

Community Schools: Addressing the Whole Child

Community Schools Online

Community Schools: Addressing the Whole Child


April 28, 2010
Vol. VI, No. 9

Coalition Update






Jim Shelton


AFT and NEA presidents


youth debaters

















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.

Thank you for making the 2010 National Community Schools Forum a huge success! We missed those of you who weren’t able to make it.  The 2010 Forum attracted over 1,100 education policy, practice, and research professionals from around the nation. Newcomers and old-timers alike joined us to hear from an outstanding lineup of federal, state, and local leaders who clearly support the community school strategy. We even had close to 200 people join us via the Community Schools UStream Channel!

Throughout the Forum we were joined by many luminaries and community school advocates (e.g. Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius; Virtually by Secretary of ED, Arne Duncan; Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, Dept. of ED; and many more!).  Their presence and supportive remarks confirm that 2010 is indeed a banner year for community schools. 

Secretary Sebelius

According to Secretary Sebelius, the Administration’s goal is to be as seamless as possible about preparing children and youth socially, emotionally, and educationally to be ready for school. The President has insisted that Cabinet members leverage assets, so "the kind of work that community schools are doing is the kind of alignment of work the Administration is being asked to do at the Cabinet level. Community schools are the vehicle for building partnership between education and health institutions that touch the lives of children and youth. I can’t think of a better way to deliver primary care and preventative care to students and their families, than through school-based clinics."

Jim Shelton from the U.S. Department of Education echoed the Secretary’s remarks, noting "there is hardly a school in the country that couldn’t benefit from some version of the community schools model. In what way can we allow this to scale and how do we take the imperatives we have around student achievement, the crisis that we have around the economic crisis and the need to get leverage out of every dollar we spend around every sector and the common sense notion that this is the right thing to do to make this movement something we can look back on as having had a transformative impact on education in our country, so that later on it just becomes a way we educate our kids."

You can view Secretary Sebelius’ keynote and other plenaries (and share them with your networks) at the
Coalition’s UStream Channel.

Coalition Update

New CCS Website Feature! Our new website has a "RSS News Feed". What this means is that you can receive daily news updates, without ever leaving your internet browser and clogging up your email inbox! 

Click here to learn more about RSS Feeds. Basically, by subscribing to the Coalition’s RSS Feed, you will get automatic updates (not in your email inbox) on your web browser.  Take a look at the pictures below to see how you can subscribe and what it looks like:

1st:  "Click on the RSS Feed icon"           

 RSS feed

2nd: A box will appear that says "Subscribe With Live Bookmark". You should click "Subscribe".

3rd: The RSS Feed will appear in your toolbar like this:

RSS Feed Toolbar 

4th: Share this new feature in your newsletters, e-blasts, and networks!

For now, since many of your probably haven’t had a chance to subscribe to the RSS Feed, below is some news and events updates.


ESEA - Educating the Whole Child
As Congress is readying to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, lawmakers and the Administration are seeking to address a big flaw in NCLB - too much emphasis on students’ test scores and little attention to their health and other needs. "If you’re going to add all this stuff on, doesn’t this require more personnelω...As you add all this stuff on, you’re going to have to add more people, mentors, librarians. … How do we do thatω" asked Sen. Harkin. Answer: Community Schools are the vehicle that make this happen!
Read more about the current ESEA reauthorization conversations AND check out the Coalition's suggestions for improving ESEA. 

Double Duty: Schools as Community Centers
This article in the District Administration highlights the types of partnerships between schools and government and nonprofit agencies that the Obama administration and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan are pushing for community schools.
Click here to read more.

"Schools Can't Do It Alone - Parents & Community Must be Involved"
 "Great teachers, great principals, can't do this alone. Parents, the broader community nonprofits, social services, the business community, religious community, everyone has to rally behind the children in each neighborhood, in each community, to give them a chance to be as successful as we know they can be."

Scramble Begins for $650 Million in 'i3' Funding
Nearly 2,500 districts, schools and nonprofits indicated they plan to compete for an Investing in Innovation - "i3" - grant, setting up a furious fight over $650 million in federal dollars. Eighty-seven prospective applicants said they would apply for "scale-up" grants of up to $50 million. More than 1,600 prospective applicants said they want a crack the smallest, $5 million "development" grants. Likely applicants said they are more inclined to focus proposals on standards and assessments and low-performing schools. There likely will be fewer applications for data system improvements and teacher and principal effectiveness. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of, 04/20/10) 

Closing the Achievement Gap
This Huffington Post commentary, by Ellen Galinsky, highlights how the achievement gap exists before our youth even enter school, is widening as they grow up. How can we address thisω Galinsky writes, "There is no question in my mind that we won't be able to address the achievement gap for some of our children if we don't address this life skill gap for all of our children." Community schools across the nation are doing just this - every day. Maybe we should look more closely at this strategyω
Click here to read full article.

Community schools are removing the barriers to learning
A decade ago, the strains on elementary students at Thomas A. Edison School were intense: Families worried about their legal status, language barriers, cultural differences, unemployment. Students' life circumstances made it hard to focus on school. Today, the community schools strategy enables Edison to provide a range of services to students and their families, decreasing barriers to learning and improving student performance.


Partnerships for Learning: Promising Practices in Integrating School and Out-of-School Time Program Supports, March 2010
This new report from Harvard Family Research Project is aimed to help OST program leaders, decision-makers, and funders to understand and implement effective OST-school partnerships for learning. Specifically, it:

  • Describes the benefits of OST-school partnerships for children, schools, and OST programs.
  • Presents five research-derived principles of promising OST-school partnerships, offering specific strategies and examples for each.
  • Profiles three "on-the-ground" partnership efforts.
  • Discusses conditions for optimal success in developing sustainable OST-school partnerships.
  • Access full report now!

Turning Around, Transforming, and Continuously Improving Schools:
Federal Proposals are Still Based on a Two- Rather than a Three- Component Blueprint

A new policy report from the UCLA Center for School Mental Health discusses dilemma confronting efforts to enable equity of opportunity through school turnaround models.  It also focuses on current priorities as reflected in the Race to the Top and School Improvement grant proposals and the U.S. Department of Education's Blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Findings highlight ongoing marginalization of practices (e.g., student and learning supports) for directly addressing barriers to learning and teaching and re-engaging disconnected students.
Access full document now!

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Upcoming Partner Webinars

April 29, 2010, 1:30pm – 3pm (EDT) - The U.S. Department of Education in partnership with United Way Worldwide, National PTA, SEDL, and Harvard Family Research Project invite you to participate in the following webinar: Transforming Schools Through Family, School, and Community Engagement. Register Now!

May 6, 2010 - National Assembly on School-Based Health Care is hosting a webinar on: School Based Health Centers in Health Reform. The webinar will cover:
  • Introduction: NASBHC’s goals for reform
  • What we have achieved: SBHC successes in the health reform law
  • Funding challenges: Strengthening SBHC provisions
  • Moving forward: NASBHC’s policy approach

Register Now! 


National Assembly on School Based Health CareJune 17-20, 2010 - Building on the energy surrounding cross-agency collaboration in Washington, DC, the theme of the 2010 National School-Based Health Care Convention is Joining Forces for Our Nation’s Students.

The Convention will begin with an Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. A rally will kick-off the morning, giving participants the remainder of the day to visit their state’s members of Congress. The day’s events will culminate with the official opening of the 2010 convention, including a reception, poster session, dinner, and keynote speakers. Register by May 7 for a special discounted rate! 

Center for Social and Emotional EducationJuly 6-8, 2010, Fordham University, New York, NY - Creating the Foundation for Comprehensive School Climate Reform
This 3-day institute will focus on Promoting Safe, Healthy, Engaged, and Democratic K-12 School Communities.  The keynote address will be given by Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education, Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools.
Register today

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