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Community School News

New Federal Education Law Boosts Community Schools

The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that President Obama signed into law today includes the Full Service Community Schools program, marking a big win for community school supporters. Read More >

Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative to Benefit Community Schools

Just before the reveal of the Chan-Zuckerberg $45 billion initiative, the foundation dispensing the gift in Newark announced $10 million would go to help develop community schools (schools that offer wraparound services for students, adults and neighborhoods) and other investments in the community including summer youth employment program and a citywide campaign to increase the proportion of college graduates in Newark. Read More >

More Community Schools Please says Education Minnesota, Lawmakers Agree to Foot the Bill

Education Minnesota union teachers demand funding to expand community schools. They cite local examples of success including Brooklyn Center High, which has used its full service community school model to increase graduation rates and reduce truancy. The Minnesota State Department of Education appropriated $500,000 in total to four school districts to pilot and develop community schools over the next two years. The union will lobby for an additional $2 million next legislative session. Read More >

Every Student Succeeds Act Preserves Full-Service Community Schools

Today the Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Report is under consideration in the House. This bill includes grant funding ($75,000/year for up to 5 years with the possibility of extensions) for Full-Service Community Schools. The Full-Service Community School model coordinates education with social services such as health care, counseling, and adult education. The integration of services makes students’ success more likely, particularly for the most vulnerable low-income communities. Read More >

District Takes on Challenges of Creating Community Schools

Hayward Unified School District is using flexibility under the Local Control Funding Formula to reform education toward community schools. Assistant Superintendent Wu-Fernandez describes the framework as “a blend of services, engagement and good core instruction” but also “a lens through which we work”. The district acknowledges that a full-service vision is costly but possible by building services based on data and identified gaps. Hayward is serving student needs through family engagement. Read More >

Community Schools: A Hopeful Future for Students in Poverty

Recent studies have shown the poorest neighborhoods’ students exhibit severe symptoms of trauma from their everyday lives that interfere with their ability to learn. An effective anti-poverty strategy is the community school model. Community schools create a support system of academic and social services for students, families, and the community. In response to current violence and poverty, many cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and NYC have pushed for establishing more community schools. Read More >

Philadelphia Sets Goal for 24 Community Schools

Philadelphia Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney held a town hall meeting Monday to identify main concerns for Philadelphians. Attendees expressed concern over specific neighborhoods and aggressive drivers but the common refrain coming from parents was about schools and safety. Parents expressed concern about the quality of their children’s education and their safety. To address the issues of student education and safety, Kenney has set a goal of establishing 24 community schools in the next 4 years. Read More >

Researching Poverty’s Effects on Learning

EWA panel argues for increased per-pupil educational spending based on improved outcomes from more funding on support staff and longer school years. Northwestern scholars give examples of anti-poverty programs in schools but emphasize that there are no “silver bullets” or one-school-fits-all solutions to reducing barriers. Community-based strategies generate progress despite challenging circumstances, but policymakers must not assume a quick infusion of money will show results instantly. Read More >

Kenney heading to Cincinnati to study community schools

Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney and his Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney visited Cincinnati to explore the community schools model. Cincinnati clustered community partners and services inside schools at very little cost to the school system. Kenney is gathering information to help implement his education platform which includes a pledge of 25 community schools in Philadelphia by the end of his first term. Read More >

Program to bolster Baltimore students from cradle to career

Renaissance Academy, a community school in West Baltimore, was spared closure after partners and supporters wrote to BCPS. The High School employs a Community School Coordinator to meet the needs of its mostly male African-American student body. By partnering with the University of Maryland-led Promise Heights initiative, Renaissance Academy provides after-school programming including SAT prep, mentoring, mental health services, and support for families in the impoverished neighborhood. Read More >

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