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May 2016 Newsletter


 Vol. XV - Issue 5 - May 2016

In This Issue


Learning at the Center of Community Schools      

Learning is central to the community school strategy. Ensuring that all children are ready for college, career, and citizenship requires us to mobilize communities, organizations, families, and all our resources in order to strengthen learning. The focus of learning during the 2016 National Forum highlighted the excellent work that community school practitioners are doing to not only make resources and services more accessible to students, but also to better support learning. We have compiled some of the Forum resources around learning including workshops and plenary videos. Read More >

ESSA Guidance    

As the U.S. Department of Education works to implement ESSA, they recently opened an opportunity for stakeholders to comment on areas of the law where the Department should provide non-regulatory guidance to assist states and districts in implementing ESSA. The Coalition submitted a letter with our recommendations, which discusses Titles I and IV and stakeholder engagement. We also submitted our draft community school implementation standards co-developed with Partners for Each and Every Child as a resource for states and districts interested in using ESSA funds to implement community schools.

In addition, the Department released proposed regulations to implement the law’s accountability, data reporting, and state plan provisions. These proposed regulations can be found here and are open for public comment from May 31 through August 1. The Coalition will weigh in and share our comments with our partners and networks whom we encourage to echo our recommendations.

Partner Spotlight: National Education Association 

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This month, we spoke to Sonia Jasso Yilmaz, senior policy analyst at the National Education Association (NEA) about NEA's mission and how it connects with the goals of community schools. In addition, we learn about the 2016 NEA Representative Assembly and how it will develop the NEA’s platform in the coming year. Read More >


Add Your School! Find Others! The Community Schools Directory


The Community Schools Directory collects and shares information about community school initiatives including their location, the services they offer, and the results they seek. Register your school in the directory and then search the data to find community schools near you or those working in similar supports and opportunities. You can also read more in the Preliminary Highlights Report here.

Opportunities and Resources

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Register for the 2016 National Family & Community Engagement Conference!

It’s not too late to register for the 2016 National FCE Conference next month, June 20-22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA! Check out our Top 10 Reasons to Attend the FCE Conference to learn more. Register Here >

Connecting the Dots: Data Use in Afterschool Systems

The National League of Cities is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 8th,3:00-4:15 PM EST, on how afterschool systems can build their capacity to better capture, describe, and improve their practices that involve data systems.  Register Here >

Leadership Learning Exchange

The Institute for Educational Leadership and East Carolina University are hosting a Summer Leadership Learning Exchange July 17-21, 2016. Breathe Joy and Justice into School and Community Leadership is an interactive, 4-day institute utilizing the latest research on achieving collective impact for equitable and excellent schools. Register Here >

Welcome To The Family League

The Family League of Baltimore has released a video detailing many of their projects, including the community schools work they are implementing across the city. The video, produced by Wide Angle Youth Media, features Family League leaders Richard Brooks, Donnica Fife-Stallworth, Glenn Love, Demaune Millard, and Randi Norris.  
Watch Here >

New Infographic Series: Shining a Spotlight on Black Girls

The Schott Foundation released an infographic on the challenges faced by Black girls in public schools. The infographic highlights the systemic problems that Black girls faced on a daily basis, including unbalanced discipline and bias.  Read More >


Community Schools: Combating Absenteeism in New York

Absenteeism continues to be a problem for schools in New York. Although the lack of school attendance is due to various reasons, P.S. 15 along with 130 other community schools have decreased chronic absenteeism by 5% through the help of community partners and resources. 
Read More >

Measuring School Quality: Non-Academic Measures in the Every Student Succeeds Act (Huffington Post)

The new ESSA mandates schools to measure at least one “non-academic” indicator, such as chronic absence and school climate. As states decide on which indicator to use, it is important to address the underlying issues behind the data and to have the appropriate tools to plan for improvement. Read More >

Teachers Nurture Democracy (Huffington Post) 

At the White House celebration of our nation’s teachers, Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes gave a moving message highlighting the important role communities play in their schools. Comments by both Jahana and teacher Paul Kelley show how teachers can nurture community engagement and democracy in students and their families. Read More >

The Answer: Family-Community Resource Centers (Broader Bolder Approach)

Family poverty continues to hinder student learning through inadequate resources in rural communities. Since 2008, the development of Family-Community Resource Centers have helped “build school assets, strengthen neighborhoods and increase student success” through various services. Read More >

Helping Kentucky Implement Place-Based Programs (Department of Education)

Place-based programs in Kentucky are helping families in impoverished communities by providing them with various health and education resources. Their success stems from working across sectors and bringing together new partnerships to the table such as the court system and county health departments. Read More >

Teacher-Powered Innovation: The Value of and Opportunity For Teacher Leadership in Schools and Policy (Department of Education) 

ESSA provides more opportunities to have teacher-powered schools that foster strong student-faculty relationships. Social Justice Humanitas Academy, a teacher-powered school and a 2015 Community Schools Awards For Excellence recipient, allows teachers to hold weight in school leadership, policy, and curriculum that focuses on their students’ environment, community and humanity. 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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