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E-update, Week of June 14, 2010

Coalition for Community Schools' E-Update, June 14, 2010


COALITION NEWS/UPDATES

Full Service Community Schools Grants – Now AVAILABLE!
The U.S. Department of Education has released the Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant. Access the application and more information. The application deadline is July 23, 2010.

Basics:
  • The estimated available funds are: $5,000,000.
  • Estimated Range of Awards: $275,000–$500,000.
  • Estimated Average Size of Awards: $415,000.
  • Maximum Award: The maximum award amount is $500,000 per year.
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 8–12.
Don’t wait….get your FSCS application started now! For more information and research on community schools visit our website.

Community Schools Results & Indicators
In an effort to help community schools across the country, the Coalition wants to identify the results and indicators that, as a field, we think are most important in determining student success in school and life. Currently we have 9 result areas, with close to 50 corresponding indicators. We are getting many requests from the field to narrow the number of indicators, which will help us collect consistent data from community schools.

To this end, we would appreciate you taking a few minutes to give us your feedback on the Coalition’s current results and indicators. Your responses will help us answer the following questions:
  • Are we collecting data on the right indicators?
  • Which indicators are most important?
  • Which indicators are: low, middle, or high priority?

Click here to take the survey NOW!

Mark your calendars!
Every 4th Wednesday of the month at 12pm EST, the Coalition will be hosting a conference call for the Urban Network. The first call will be on Wednesday, June 23rd. The monthly conference call will serve to:
  • Inform participants about federal policy related to community schools; and
  • Provide space for Urban Network members to share updates and learning from one another (practitioners, advocacy, and policy).

We also want to conduct quarterly Urban Network specific webinars. Please bring your topic suggestions to our first call on Wednesday June 23rd! Once the topics are set, a webinar calendar will be sent out to everyone.

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FEDERAL UPDATES

Sen. Dodd Proposes Creation of a National Commission for Children
During the first in a series of hearings on the State of the American Child, Sen. Dodd (D-CT) announced his plans to create a National Commission for Children. He plans "to introduce legislation to create this Commission in order to regularly and closely examine the needs of American families and identify solutions." The Commission would act as a report card, annually assessing the status of U.S. children. It would also provide recommendations for improving child well-being. Read more


School Turnaround Models - Lack Community & Parent Involvement
The Administration's 4 school turnaround models are not sitting well with Congress, as they prepare for the re-authorization of ESEA. Both sides of the isle agree that the models are inflexible, especially for schools in rural areas. They also note lack of emphasis on factors such as the need for community and parental involvement. Rep. Miller (D-CA) says that if there isn't collaboration and buy-in from the community, efforts to turn around schools will be for naught. Read more


Health Reform Bill Gives a Boost to School-Based Health Centers
Saba Bireda of the Washington, DC based Center for American Progress recently noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, promises to make far-reaching changes to our current health care system - beyond cost. In fact, it is a sign of the growing acknowledgment that integrating health care services in schools DOES matter, improving academic outcomes. She points out that the community schools strategy implements such a model. Read more

First Lady and federal agencies launch summer initiative to curb childhood obesity and reading loss
First Lady Michelle Obama and four Cabinet Secretaries, joined Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service to launch United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move. this week. The new initiative will urge more Americans to volunteer to combat childhood obesity and summer learning loss among youth. The program is an Administration-wide effort led by the Corporation to expand opportunities to engage young people in summer reading and physical activities as well as provide access to healthy, affordable food. Read more

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LOCAL/STATE COMMUNITY SCHOOL NEWS

Children’s Aid Society’s Community Schools Highlighted in The Nation magazine
The June 14, 2010 issue of The Nation focuses on education. An article by David L. Kirp: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives lauds community schools. He argues that with solid evidence of their effectiveness and mounting political support, community schools should be a big part of the revamped No Child Left Behind Act.

Kirp highlights that community schools are focused on results, including and beyond academics. "They are committed to literacy and numeracy, but they also pay attention to less readily measurable outcomes like health, creativity and community service. The question isn't which approach is right—what parent would make such a choice?—but how to blend them effectively. Pitting academics against the rest of children's lives makes for a false dichotomy." Read more

Little Village preK-12 Community School: Making a Difference
The Little Village Community School structure (housing prek-12) is helping address an issue that the school system has struggled with for a long time: how to transition students from their familiar elementary schools to often larger, less controlled high schools. In addition improving transitions, school officials hope to decrease the number of dropouts and increase the number of students who make the next transition — to college. Read more


California State Senate Vote to Include Chronic Absence in Data System

SB 1357: Chronic Absence-California’s Early Warning System, requires the California Department of Education to include data on student absences in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), contingent upon the receipt of federal funding for this purpose. On June 1, 2010, SB 1357 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote (35-0). The bill will be heard by the Assembly Education Committee on June 16.
Learn more about SB 1357.

TAKE ACTION! Time Out From Testing
Time Out From Testing and other organizations and individuals from across the country are launching a postcard campaign to First Lady Michelle Obama asking that she encourage the President to put an end to the use of High Stakes Testing. This Coalition of organizations is asking folks to send a postcard to the First Lady. The text of the postcard in both Spanish and English can be downloaded at www.timeoutfromtesting.org. In addition, anyone can sign a postcard online and a postcard on your behalf. Thousands have gone out already but not enough. We need to flood her office from all over the country, every city and state. Get the word out now!

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TOOLS/RESOURCES

Attendance Counts
Check out www.attendancecounts.org, which offers strategies, research and tools for reducing chronic absence in our schools. The Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant can help support chronic absence work. For example, a current FSCS grantee has been using absence data to tip them off to children and families in need of support. As a result of their findings, they are now using some of the grant money to pay for transportation to bring children to school, as well as family counseling and home visits.

UPCOMING PARTNER WEBINAR

Webinar series on Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement –Wed. June 30th, 1:30pm EST
These webinars, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, National PTA, United Way Worldwide, and SEDL, aim to provide opportunities for stakeholders representing national, regional, and local organizations to learn about family, school, and community engagement research and innovations, as well as best practices from the field. Webinar #2 -A New Day: Family, School, and Community Engagement in Education Reform- will focus on will examine what these innovative and successful family engagement programs look like on the ground, especially within Title I schools. Presenters will include:
  • Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Anna Hinton, Director, Parental Options and Information, Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education
  • Mishaela Durán, Director of Government Affairs, PTA National Office of Programs and Public Policy
  • Barbara Scherr, Family Involvement Coordinator, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Susan Shaffer, Director, Maryland State Parental Information and Resource Center
  • Michele Brooks, Assistant Superintendent of Family and Student Engagement, Boston Public Schools

COMMUNITY SCHOOL PARTNER NEWSLETTER

California Community Schools Advocacy Network

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