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Community School News

RFA Policy Brief: What does it take to create a successful community school?

As city and state lawmakers debate the shape and scale of future community school initiatives, Research for Action is pleased to provide analysis of the existing research on both comprehensive models and common elements. Community schools are receiving increased attention in Pennsylvania and across the country as policymakers and practitioners strive to address the effects of poverty on academic performance, and provide more comprehensive supports for traditionally-underserved populations. Read More >

Ziffer breathes life into community school project in Florida

In Tallahassee, City Commissioner Gil Ziffer blasted school officials’ hesitation to make choices necessary to drive the proposed community school educational initiative forward. His passionate challenge drew the Superintendent Jackie Pons into discussion with potential partners to propel the initiative from its “exploratory” status to an “actionable” planning phase. Read More >

Florida's 2nd community school in Pensacola

Principal Holly Magee, in partnership with the non-profit Children’s Home Society, have turned Weiss Elementary School into Florida’s second community school. Magee embraced the system after what she describes as a life-changing trip last summer to four community schools in New York. She felt inspired after seeing how the schools put all the pieces together and implemented programs that students and parents considered relevant to their lives. Read More >

10 Expectations All Students Should Have of Their Schools

This newsletter presents ten standards that students can expect of their schools. It provides links and resources for students, parents and educators. Community Schools respond to many of these demands and serve their students by upholding the recommended expectations. They are Play, Timing, Time, Practice, Choice, Relationships, Authenticity, Relevance, Challenge, and Application. Read More >

Philadelphia Inauguration Speeches Emphasize Community Schools

Public leaders in Philadelphia speak at length about community schools as a strategy for improving quality of life in the city and providing necessary services to residents. Mayor Jim Kenney calls for unity and cooperation while citing South Philly High School as an inspirational example. City Council President Darrell Clarke promised to use community schools as a model to revitalize neighborhoods. Read More >

State assistance is a welcome boost for full-service community schools

It’s more difficult for children to learn when their lives outside school are unstable and riddled with social and economic challenges. Now the state is putting some welcome resources into supporting the concept. In 2015 Minnesota legislators allocated $500,000 to support full-service community schools for the next two years. Strong, stable families and communities help produce better educated children who become more productive adult citizens and workers Read More >

Buffalo has a Head Start on Community Schools

Under New York’s state’s new receivership law, if Superintendent Kriner Cash cannot quickly turn around South Park and four other struggling schools, an outside organization must be brought in to convert them to community schools. But some district schools are already moving in that direction. Visiting State officials were so impressed with the work done at South Park that they want to use it as a model for the rest of the state. The Wallace Foundation is studying the ‘collective impact’ data. Read More >

Community schools promising, but take effort

ESSA explicitly encourages low-income districts to use Title I funds for integrated student supports and enhanced community partnerships. Variety in implementation and resource levels make consistent evaluation of Community Schools a challenge. Emerging evidence suggests they can make a real difference for traditionally underserved students, especially when the model is carefully implemented and sustained. For success in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg will need to take -and stick to- a very new path. Read More >

The Superintendent Who Turned Around A School District

More recognition for Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Andersen, in her own words. We often hear about school districts who struggle with high poverty, low test scores and budget problems. But one district has faced all of these and achieved remarkable results. In just over three years, Superintendent Tiffany Anderson, who oversees the Jennings School District in Jennings, a small city just outside St. Louis, has led a dramatic turnaround in one of the worst-performing systems in Missouri. Read More >

Greenvale Park Community School Co-coordinators pleased with Inaugural Report

Northfield Promise, Northfield Public Schools and the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative compiled data on Northfield's year-old community school. The annual report is a grant condition and the data was shared with the entire community. Impressive numbers showed 431 kids, nearly the whole school population, participating in programming and over 1,000 volunteer hours logged by community members since August 2015. Read More >

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