Coalition for Community Schools - Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

Newsletter 5.15

Community Schools Online

Partner with Your Communities to Promote Student Success!

September 23, 2008 Vol. V, No. 15

In This Issue

 

Coalition Update: Report to the Field
The Community Agenda for America’s Public Schools
American Teacher highlights Randi Weingarten’s Reform Agenda
ASCD – Inside Full Service Community Schools

In the News
What's Next: Ten Predictions for the Future of Public Education
Rebuilding the New Orleans School System?
School Psychologists Argue for the Whole Child
Schoolyards – the New Classroom?

Research, Publications, and Tools
"Partnering With Communities to Promote Student Success: A Review of the Research"
"Schools for Successful Communities: An Element of Smart Growth"
"Local Governments and Schools: A Community-Oriented Approach"
"Community Schools: Working Toward Institutional Transformation"
"Moving Toward a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports: The Next Evolutionary Stage in School Improvement Policy and Practice"

Events
Healthy Foods, Healthy Moves: Delivering the Childhood Obesity Prevention Message in Schools and Communities Conference
NCEA 2008 Annual Conference
Coalition for Essential Schools Fall Forum 2008
PEN 2008 Annual Conference
2008 National Family Week

Funding Opportunities
Coalition Allies and Partners Grant Tracking Systems

 Job Opportunities
Program Manager, National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
Director of Hartford Community Schools, CT

Coalition Update: Report to the Field

kidsThe Community Agenda for America’s Public Schools
The Coalition is excited to announce the release of The Community Agenda for America’s Public Schools. 124 organizations  have endorsed The Community Agenda as an action plan to ensure that all children enter school healthy, ready to learn and succeed. It prepares students to pursue post secondary education and become productive family and community members. Key national leaders from education, youth development, community engagement, health and social services, and higher education organizations will sign on to a set of strategies and solutions enabling communities to support public education.  There will be an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday September 24th at 9:30am. 

 

American Teacher highlights Randi Weingarten’s Reform Agenda
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Randi Weingarten declares that we need to reform the Nation’s education system.  American Teacher highlights Weingarten’s speech in their latest issue.  She provided an alternative to NCLB, emphasizing community schools. She argued that community schools are at the center of improving the lives of families and their children.  Read more…

 

ASCD – Inside Full Service Community Schools
In their Summer 2008 Info Brief, ASCD endorses full-service community schools legislation.  They believe that this type of legislation will better lay out administrative and financial responsibilities, with health, medical, and social services supported by a partner agency and not assigned as a local school district mandate.  The brief provides evidence that factors outside of instructional time affect academic achievement. In addition to the brief, read more about ASCD’s 2008 legislative agenda.

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In the News

What's Next? Ten Predictions for the Future of Public Education
Full-service community schools are highlighted as a wave of the future, in Edutopia’s article “Ten Predictions for the Future of Public Education”.  The author argues that utilizing schools as hubs of communities will help alleviate some of the growing pressures of testing and the “stuttering” economy on schools.  Molly McCloskey, Director of Constituent Services at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, states “this is about meeting the needs of kids to ensure all of our futures.”

Rebuilding the New Orleans School System?
In August 17th’s Sunday NY Times Magazine, Paul Tough discusses the reconstruction of the New Orleans Public School system by speaking to various key players: teachers, parents, and administrators. All of the players see student supports for academic success as imperative, but some fail to see that schools do not need to do it alone. For example, Paul Pastorek, State Education Superintendent, suggests a change in the governance model will create a positive change in student outcomes and needs to be addressed first. Dianne Ravitch, on the other hand, notes that “the fundamental issue in American education is one that is demographic… If you don’t buttress whatever happens in school with social and economic changes that give kids a better chance in life and put their families on a more stable footing, then schools alone are not going to solve the problems of poor student performance. There has to be a range of social and economic strategies to support and enhance whatever happens in school.”

                                                                                         

School Psychologists Argue for the Whole Child
The National Association of School Psychologists argues that teachers are not the only adults that should be playing a role in student’s academic success. They believe that “an aligned structure of healthcare, social services, and mental, emotional, linguistic and cultural aid all provide a foundation on which teachers and students can reach their full potential.”

Schoolyards – the New Classroom?
The Boston SchoolYard Initiative, a schoolyard renovation project started by parents and teachers, addresses the lack of safe places for kids to go. The revitalized schoolyards have not only created places to play, but they are serving as science and math labs. “If the school department had just gone in and rebuilt the school yard, I don’t think there would have been nearly as good an outcome…The fact that they got the teachers, parents, and neighborhoods involved…made the project more successful.”

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Research, Publications and Tools


Partnering With Communities to Promote Student Success: A Review of the Research
In this brief, Nancy Erbstein and Elizabeth Miller, from the Center for Community School Partnerships at UC Davis argue that school-community partnerships are effective in closing the student academic achievement gap. They note that while a causal link between partnership strategies and increased student academic achievement remains unclear - all researchers agree that not partnering with families and communities is likely to increase the risk of student failure.

 

Schools for Successful Communities: An Element of Smart Growth
The Council of Educational Facility Planners International and U.S. EPA, explain why and how communities can employ smart growth planning principles to build schools that better serve and support students, staff, parents, and the entire community. They argue that when school districts collaborate with community leaders to find a location for a school, the community benefits socially, environmentally, and economically.

 

Local Governments and Schools: A Community-Oriented Approach
International City/County Management Association and Smart Growth Network, provide local government managers with an understanding of the connections between school facility planning and local government management issues. The publication offers strategies on how local governments and schools can coordinate their respective planning efforts to incorporate a more community oriented approach to schools and reach multiple community goals—educational, environmental, economic, social, and fiscal.


Community Schools: Working Toward Institutional Transformation
In its recent report, The National Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, states that community schools are helpful in addressing the missing components of school improvement efforts.  The report explores: the concept of Community Schools; state of the art guiding frameworks for designing interventions at a community school; the process of school-family-community collaboration; and considerations related to moving forward.  The report cocludes that for increased connections to be more than another desired but underachieved aim of reformers, policymakers must support development of comprehensive and multifaceted approaches.

 

Moving Toward a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports: The Next Evolutionary Stage in School Improvement Policy and Practice
Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor’s new policy brief indicates that school improvement policies, planning, and practices have not been effective in dealing with factors leading to and maintaining students’ problems, especially in schools where large proportions of students are not doing well. The provides evidence suggesting that a major focus of school expansion needs to be on the development by schools of a comprehensive system of learning supports.

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Events, Funding, and Job Opportunities

EVENTS

Healthy Foods, Healthy Moves: Delivering the Childhood Obesity Prevention Message in Schools and Communities conference will take place on October 2 – 3, 2008 in Chicago.  It will provide participants with strategies, tools, and materials to address the childhood obesity epidemic in their own schools and communities. 

43rd Annual NCEA Conference
Join National Community Education Association for their 43rd Annual NCEA Conference and connect with Community Education colleagues and resources from around the country. It will be held in Dallas, TX from November 5 – 8, 2008.

Coalition for Essential Schools Fall Forum 2008
Connect with thousands of K-12 educators, students, parents, and other leading thinkers who are changing lives through learning. Create schools for the 21st century that are personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging through your life, through your teaching and learning, and through the change that you inspire.


PEN 2008 Annual Conference
The conference will take place from November 16-18, 2008, at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, in San Francisco. The conference, which will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the first local education funds, will focus on the education imperative of extending the reach of high quality learning. Click here to register.

2008 National Family Week

The Alliance for Children and Families has just announced that National Family Week will be from November 23 – November 29. They hope that you will promote National Family Week to your constituents by posting a news release  on your Web site and including it in other appropriate communications vehicles. Resources and materials for planning observances are available, at no charge, on their web site, www.nationalfamilyweek.org.


FUNDING

Coalition Allies and Partners Grant Tracking Systems
For up-to-date funding opportunities, please bookmark our partners’ websites and/or sign up for their newsletters:


JOBS

Program Manager, National Assembly on School-Based Health Care 
NASBHC is currently searching for a Program Manager to aid in training, product development, and project management. The Program Manager will be responsible for training & product development and project management.


Director of Hartford Community Schools
The newly created position of Director of Hartford Community Schools works in close collaboration with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford System of Schools, the Hartford Office for Youth Services, and the Hartford School-Community Partnership to support the planning, development and operation of high-quality community schools in Hartford. Click here for the complete job description.


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Additional Information
Check out http://www.communityschools.org/ for more information on the Coalition's work and progress.
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