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December Newsletter 2014

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Vol. XI Issue 9 December 2014

Happy Holidays_CCS
In this Issue


Equity Tool Box:
Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

Time for Equity Indicators Framework
: The Annenberg Institute for School Reform presents a comprehensive set of indicators to document how expanded time and learning opportunities can transform the lives of students, the structure of schools, and the power of communities.

Equity Planning Tool: Designed by the George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education, the Equity Planning Tool assists districts in assessing their progress towards providing all children with access to quality instruction and opportunities to learn. The EPT is comprised of two sets of indicators: the first relates to the variation in student outcomes based on demographic characteristics and the second describes the differences in students’ opportunities that could explain these variations. 

For more information, please visit our new equity page.

Upcoming Events


Register now for next year’s
National FCE Conference
June 22-24, 2015

It's Time for Equity Webinar 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (EST) 

oin the Annenberg Institute for School 
Reform and their partners as they discuss how we can leverage time as the one constant resource towards educational equity and excellence for all students.

If you are interested in posting a job or sharing an event, please reach out to Heather Naviasky.

The Growth and Impact of Community Schools in 2014

boys for awards eblast

It was another good year for the community schools movement. This "top ten" list of achievements summarizes some of the most compelling developments in 2014. With your help, this year we expanded to more than 95 places, demonstrated the amazing impact of community schools, raised the visibility of this effective strategy, saw numerous policies put into place to support this work, and increased our partnerships.

We are excited to move into 2015 with the momentum, partnerships, networks, and diligent work on the ground to achieve our mission to unite school, community and family for young people’s success.

Click here to see our 2014 Community Schools Top 10 List!

Become an Award for Excellence Winner! 

Learn More

Meriden Public Schools: Redesigning the School Day with Community Partners in Mind

FPC Hat Donation 5 - 2

The Meriden Public Schools District first began collaborative discussions with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in 2011 to determine if and how learning time might be expanded for their students. Meriden leaders agreed that if students were to become successful, happy, and engaged citizens, they needed to spend more time in school than the current schedule allowed.  They also wanted to offer students different kinds of learning experiences to engage them in a new and meaningful way.  

This belief drove the district to integrate community partners into the school day, using the community school approach as a vehicle for expanded learning opportunities.  

 "Our extended learning time schools are providing our students with the enrichment and hands-on learning opportunities that lead to greater student success.   Our community providers share their expertise alongside our teachers and staff, and they have become instrumental partners in the reengineered school day. By giving students more choice and greater voice, we are building schools where students and staff want to be." - Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent of Meriden Public Schools District

Continue reading...

Chronic Absenteeism, Poverty, and How Community Schools can Help

All school leaders know that children have to be in school to learn, but fewer are aware that their school's rate of chronic absenteeism can reveal a wealth of information about the school and the community around it. Our new report Building a Better Picture of Poverty: What Chronic Absenteeism and Risk Load Reveal About NYC's Lowest-Income Elementary Schools, demonstrates that schools with persistently high rates of chronic absenteeism face, on average, a higher burden of community- and school-level risks such as child maltreatment, homelessness and teacher turnover. In this way, chronic absenteeism serves as a powerful warning sign to help identify schools and families with the greatest need. Continue reading...

This blog is part of Martin Blank's blog series in the Huffington Post. This is a guest blog by Nicole Mader, Education Policy Analyst at the Center for NYC Affairs at the New School.
A Different Kind of Field Trip
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Housed in Washington D.C., a classic tourist town, the Coalition doesn’t compete with the double-decker tour buses. Rather, we organize something different: field trips to see schools and communities working together. 

One recent trip transported 25 Capitol Hill, executive branch and association staffers to Baltimore to learn about that city’s community school strategy and how it is driving outcomes for young people, families, and communities.  Baltimore now boasts 46 community schools, with another 22 being renovated as community hubs through the first phase of a $1 billion state school construction bond. Continue reading...


Equity Allies: How School Leaders Can Promote Equitable Educational Opportunities

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education in July 2014 launched the Excellent Educators for All initiative, a response to recommendations of the Equity and Excellence Commission report. In response the authors, Lynda Tredway and Jessica Rigby, conducted research on how equity-minded principals, or "equity allies," base their daily practice on equity. The researchers offer three recommendations for how all school leaders can embed equity into their leadership practices. Read More >

U.S. Education Chief Visits to Talk with Local Students about Ferguson

After participating in Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights march in D.C. on Sunday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan held closed meetings with several dozen students in the St. Louis area on Tuesday. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sat in on the talks, which covered the aftermath, trauma and healing following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. What Duncan heard left him emotional, stating, "We don't learn by sitting behind a desk in Washington." Read More >

Why the Community Schools Model Works for District 33 in Chicago

Charles Johns, superintendent of West Chicago Elementary School District 33, shared how and why the Community Schools model has been an effective tool for them. He lifts up their partnership, "WeGo Together for Kids," which has over 50 members. Throughout the school year, the partners support the students and their families and help create a stronger and healthier community. Read More >

AFT: It's About Time - Lessons from Expanded Learning Time in Meriden, CT

Our partners at the American Federation of Teachers recently released the Handbook: "It’s About Time: Lessons from Expanded Learning Time in Meriden, Conn." As AFT President Randi Weingarten stated, "Lessons learned from a successful initiative to expand learning time at schools in Meriden, Conn., can help other unions work with districts to significantly increase opportunities for at-risk students." Read More >

Click here to read 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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