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March Newsletter 2016

 
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 Vol. XV - Issue 3 - March 2016

In This Issue

 


A Note about the 2016 Community Schools National Forum
 

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The 2016 Community Schools National Forum is taking place next week.  More than 1,650 people are registered, the largest turnout in the history of the community schools movement.  The turnout signals the impact we are having, and the potential for our work to help young people thrive in the future.   If you can’t be there follow us on social media @Commschools and the hashtag #CSrising and look for stories and tools in the coming weeks. And there’s still time to register!


Continued Momentum in Community Schools State Policy and State Network Development

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Building on last year’s success, state advocates have continued to promote state legislation to support community schools in 2016. Policy momentum is coming from legislators, educators, organizers, and community partners who are working to strengthen and expand community schools. Together, these groups are advancing the community schools strategy by forming emerging community school state networks that bring together advocates who are essential in spreading and strengthening the strategy. Read More>


Partner Spotlight: YMCA                               

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This month, we spoke to Elena Rocha of the YMCA. In February, the YMCA brought more than 350 local advocates to the U.S. Capitol for their National Advocacy Days. Learn more about their upcoming events, the Y's vision, and the ways in which the Y works with community schools. Read More>

 


Join and Use the Community School Directory

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Join and Use the Community School Directory

The Coalition is releasing a new tool that will enable community schools to connect and learn from each other. The Community Schools Directory collects and shares knowledge about community school initiatives including: their location, the services they offer, and the results they seek. Complete the Directory and search the data to dig deeper into the community schools network. Read more in the Preliminary Highlights Report here. The Directory is also accessible through the National Forum mobile app (available for download from Google Play or iTunes App Store). 


Opportunities and Resources

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ESSA Webinars

To empower community schools advocates to take advantage of ESSA, the Coalition has been conducting a webinar series highlighting opportunities in ESSA for community schools. We presented an overview of the law and then focused on Titles I and IV. Access the webinar recordings here

New Infographic: Lifting All Children Up

The National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado has released a new infographic
 that visualizes how a variety of policy decisions can either help schools rise, or weigh them down. Accompanying policy recommendations were presented at the White House Summit on Education. Read More>

American Educator Journal on School Discipline 

The American Federation of Teachers has released their new American Educator Journal on school discipline, with a series of articles showing how to ensure that schools are safe and welcoming for all students, and not pushing for unbalanced means of punishment.
Read More>


News

ESSA may offer megaphone for parent, community voices (EdWeek)

Advocates for parent and community engagement see the newly revised federal K-12 law as an opportunity to expand their impact on states' academic goals, plans for school improvement, and other areas of policy. In the article, Martin Blank, Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, highlights the importance of community members engaging with the ESSA planning process as authority is devolved to the local level.  Read More >


Philadelphia Mayor Kenney moving ahead on community schools

Philadelphia is currently developing parameters for selecting the first 5 to 7 traditional public schools to receive community school funding. Mayor Kenney’s staff will meet with community members, service providers, and the school district to determine criteria, including high-poverty schools with principals open to change. So far 43 schools have expressed interest in becoming community schools. Read More >


New York State sets a $250 million goal for community schools funding

In New York, parents and lawmakers are seeking a greater investment on top of Gov. Cuomo's proposed $100 million community schools initiative. Assembly Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan, the Alliance for Quality Education, and others are pushing for a $250 million investment.  
Read More >


Milwaukee community schools shows signs of improved culture, achievement

Auer Avenue Community School is creating an impressive school culture while serving high-poverty students. There’s a surge of new programs generating positive results. People within the school, the district administration, the immediate neighborhood and the broader community are working together to support the school and improve the lives and academic success of the students. To follow what is going on with Wisconsin community schools, you can follow them on twitter at @WICommSchoolsRead More >


ESSA commentary from Martin Blank featured in Washington Post

Martin Blank, President of IEL and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, published in the Washington Post a commentary titled, 'Is a new day really dawning with No Child Left Behind’s successor law?' He explains that the new Every Student Succeeds Act differs significantly from its discredited predecessor, No Child Left Behind, creating opportunity. The piece details six concrete changes and why they are promising--including more local control, less standardized testing, comprehensive supports, stakeholder and family engagement, community partnerships, and equitable budget reviews. Read More >


More News 

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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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