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February Newsletter 2016


 Vol. XV - Issue 2 - February 2016

In This Issue

Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools 

In partnership with the Center for Popular Democracy and the Southern Education Foundation, the Coalition has issued a new report entitled Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools.
This report profiles community schools that are implementing evidence-based strategies that bring together the resources of school, family, and community to make schools stronger and help young people thrive.  Through the use of these strategies, the schools have demonstrated consistent improvement in a wide range of indicators of student success. Read More>

Partner Spotlight: After-School All-Stars


This month, we talk to an essential community schools partner, After-School All-Stars, about plans regarding the new Every Student Succeeds Act, and the valuable partnerships formed between community schools and after-school programs. We also had the opportunity to hear more about their exciting Camp Hoop Heroes partnership with the Miami Heat, which will be taking place in South Florida this year. Read our conversation with Jason Spector, National Research & Evaluation Manager, to learn how after-school programs providers play a crucial role in creating thriving community schools. Read More>

Announcing the National Forum Workshops

Workshop announcement

Checkout the 118 concurrent workshops and 18 roundtables at the Community Schools National Forum. Workshop topics range from early chronic absence to results-based accountability, from supporting immigrant youth to promoting parent and volunteer leadership. New to the Forum are roundtables where participants will be able to have informal discussions with presenters around specific topics such as partnering with higher education institutions, trauma-informed community schools, and capacity building. Are you registered?  If not, register today!  If you are already registered, start looking for the workshops you want to attend today! Read More>

Opportunities and Resources


Nine Elements of Effective School Community Partnerships to Address Student Mental Health, Physical Health, and Overall Wellness 
The Coalition for Community Schools and the National Association of School Psychologists have outlined nine key elements necessary for creating and sustaining effective partnerships to improve student mental health, physical health, and overall wellness. Read More>

Expanding Learning through School-Community Partnerships in New York State

The New York State After School Network, with contributions from the Children’s Aid Society, highlights community schools as well as well as several expanded learning approaches in their recently released white paper “Expanding Learning through School-Community Partnerships.” 
Read more>

Community Schools: Case Studies of What Works

The American Federation of Teachers is releasing a new series of case studies on community schools doing great work in a variety of localities. Their first two installments are focused on Albuquerque, New Mexico, our National Forum host city, and St. Paul, Minnesota.  

Oakland Unified School District

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University released new case studies on Oakland Unified School District’s community schools work. In the brief on teaching and learning, teachers spoke positively of the impact of community schools on children’s readiness to learn, overall support of teachers, and school climate. Read More>

Managing Lead in Drinking Water at Schools and Early Childhood Education Facilities

The Kellogg Foundation has  recently released a report on the Flint water crisis entitled, Managing Lead in Drinking Water at Schools and Early Childhood Education Facilities.” The report provides specific supports and resources for early childhood education facilities who may be discovering complications regarding lead poisoning in local drinking water as the Flint crisis gains national attention. Read More>


Parents, Teachers and Children Rally for Community Schools Across the Nation

On February 17th, thousands of people staged 'walk-ins' at 800 schools across the nation demanding more funding and less testing. The walk-ins, organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, became venues for many different messages including slowing down charter school growth, ending state takeovers of local school systems, and building more community schools. Read More >

Baltimore, MD- Bill to provide funding for Community schools serving students who live in poverty

Baltimore City delegate Mary Washington is calling for the state to spend more money on community schools serving students living in poverty. Principal Gaither of Wolfe Street Academy, a community school in Baltimore, says in support, "It's the system that discovers the need and addresses it with partnerships and ideas that are already out there waiting for clients. Read More >

Bronx, NY- Hoping and Waiting for a Bronx School's Fresh Start to Pay Off

Through the Schools Renewal Program in New York City, a public school in the Bronx has reopened as the Urban Scholars Community School. Urban Scholars provides a variety of supports and services to help their students who come from the poorest congressional district in the country, many of whom live in homeless shelters. Read More >

Martin Blank Investigates the Place-Based Charter School

Martin Blank, Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, asks what responsibility public charter schools have to the neighborhoods where they are located. Given the vital role that public schools play in our communities and the highly conflicted charter schools environment, here are some questions we should be asking about charter schools.  Read More >

A day in the life of a community school director
Follow Fiorella Guevara, Community School Director for M.S. 50 in NYC on her daily responsibilities coordinating the activities, social services, and parent workshops that the mayor is hoping will help set struggling schools on a different path. The mission- treat students’ physical or emotional ailments so they can focus on learning. For Guevara, that means “day-to-day ensuring that the vision we’ve laid out is going…troubleshooting when there’s something that’s not going right with the plan". 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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