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Community School News

Toronto, CA: Help turn empty schools into community hubs

Premier Kathleen Wynne has voiced support for the recommendations made by an advisory group on how to transform schools at risk of closing because of declining enrollment into community hubs. Municipalities and school boards would work together to create shared facilities where residents can access educational, cultural, and recreational services. Read More >

Hartford, CT: Improve Education, Make Streets Safe, Grow Middle-Class Jobs

Pedro Segarra has made a list of ways that he would make Hartford better if reelected as mayor. His top priority: continuing to improve education through the community schools strategy. This would further reduce the achievement gap and help children reach their full potential. Read More >

What Do the Poor Need? Try Asking Them

Neighborhood Centers takes a bottom-up approach to community development in Houston. This nonprofit enables members of the community to improve their neighborhoods by allowing them to decide what their needs are and providing the tools to enact change. The work of Neighborhood Centers in Houston proves that community involvement is the key to lasting development. Read More >

Nashville, TN: Barry Reaches Out to Freeman Supporters With Letter on ‘Community Schools’

Now that Bill Freeman, who endorsed the community schools approach, is out of the Nashville mayoral race, candidate Megan Barry has released an open letter voicing her support for community schools. In the letter, Barry sites information released by the Coalition on the benefits of this approach and states that she would work to improve the community schools initiative as mayor. Read More >

Chicago, IL: Marquette Elementary: A School, a Community Organization and a Health Care Provider Steer a New, Better Course

After years of being classified as failing, Marquette Elementary School, one of Chicago’s largest public elementary schools, was designated as a turnaround school in 2012. The teachers and staff were required to resign and the school came under entirely new management. Marquette’s partnership with the Southwest Organizing Project was essential to easing this transition, maintaining the school-based health clinic, and bringing energy and optimism to the school. Read More >

Ontario, CA: Closed Ontario schools may be transformed into ‘community hubs’

Karen Pitre, head of an advisory group on how to ease the way for community hubs, has proposed a system in which an Ontario school at risk of closure would not be required to be sold at fair market value if it is deemed to be in the public interest. The various uses of schools, such as daycares and clinics, could also be recognized under the new system, which would change how the school is valued. Read More >

Are these really the best high schools in the country?

Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, has examined the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of high schools and found that the list rewards elite enrollment and penalizes schools that do not serve advantaged communities. Welner points out that there are approaches for actually identifying high-quality schools and practices, such as the one used by the Coalition. Read More >

Pine Hills, FL: Why ‘Community Schools’ Are Taking Root In Florida

Evans High School in Orange County quickly climbed from an F to a B rating after becoming a community school. Evans removed the barriers to learning that its students were facing, such as hunger, lack of medical care, and not being able to get to school safely. The improvements in the students and the community have spurred the development of more community schools across Florida. Read More >

Community Schools as a Model for a Civil Rights-Oriented ESEA

The reauthorization of the ESEA is an opportunity for Congress to bring education policy back to its civil rights roots and address educational inequities. An important step would be to use the legislation to make it easier for schools to adopt the community school strategy, which reduces external barriers to learning and has proven to narrow the achievement gap. Read More >

Kent County, MI: State program modeled after Kent County expands to help more students stay in school

The Pathways to Potential program, modeled after the Kent Schools Services Network (KSSN), will be expanding this school year into 10 additional counties in Michigan. The program is not yet a full community school strategy, however it is a good start to creating a strategy and will help students become successful and self-sufficient. To read more, click here. Read More >

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