National Forum Recap Scaling Up Guide Community Schools Blog Community Schools FAQs - Answers to your questions Coalition Publications - Inner Pages Use data to tell your community school story!

Community Schools and Principals

Community School Principals are Essential:


Principals play an essential role in successful community schools. To celebrate National Principals Month the Coalition has compiled a variety of resources geared towards principals looking to implement the community schools strategy. Principals are central to promoting the community school vision, and making sure the strategy goes according to plan. These school leaders ensure that implementation satisfies local needs, aligns with the school’s academic mission, and empowers family and community voices.

Some of the suggested best practices and lessons learned from principals about engaging families, staff, partners, and the community are connected to the six keys to community and stakeholder engagement which include:

·         Know where you’re going
·         Share leadership
·         Reach out
·         Don’t ignore the elephant in the room
·         Tell your school’s story, and
·         Stay on course

The Coalition and the Institute for Educational Leadership have continued work on supporting principals through the report, Education and Community Building: Connecting Two Worlds. The report illustrates how principals are a catalyst for effective and sustainable community partnerships, and gives principals tips on how to support their community school coordinator and other site staff in creating strong partnerships with businesses and the community.

At this year’s National Forum, the Coalition gave a leadership award to Peggy Candelaria, the principal of Manzano Mesa Elementary School, in Albuquerque, NM. Under Candelaria’s leadership, Manzano Mesa Elementary has developed a robust and comprehensive menu of services for its students and families. She was one of the first principals to receive a grant from the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Community School Partnership to develop a community schools strategy. You can read her profile here.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), a Coalition partner, featured the role of principals in community schools in a Principal Leadership article titled, Mutual Support: The Community Schools Strategy. The article offers examples of principals using the community school strategy and suggests steps principals can take to turn their school into a community school. The article also focuses on Oyler High School, a Cincinnati community school that was the focal point of a recent documentary and Market Place series about the school. The documentary focused on the relationship between a principal, the school, and the community. The documentary highlighted how the principal leads the community school through his support, guidance, and commitment.

Principals are an invaluable piece of the puzzle in making any education reform successful. In community schools, they are collaborative leaders that play an essential role in making sure a community school and its students and families thrive.

To learn more about how principals engage in community schools, take a look at our principal page
4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW  |  Suite 100  |  Washington, DC 20008-2304   |   Tel. 202.822.8405 X111  |  Fax 202.872.4050  |  Email
©2018 Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership. All Rights Reserved.
About Community Schools   |    Policy   |    Results   |    Resources   |    Your Leadership Role   |    Media   |    About Us   |    Search   |    National Forums   |    Privacy Policy   |    Site Map