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Vol. IX No. 2

Coalition for Community Schools Newsletter

Vol. IX Issue No. 2

In Loving Memory of Joy Dryfoos

In This Issue

The Temperature in California? Community Schools are Hot!

California is a complex, highly-varied collection of more than 1,000 school districts, each with its own set of unique challenges. Many of these districts are turning to the community schools strategy to help meet its specific needs. Emerging from these nodes of interest is a statewide push for community schools.

The push to bridge resources, build influential partnerships, and uplift communities in the Golden State is the reason the Coalition chose San Francisco as the site for the 2012 Community Schools National Forum.

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Data Throwdown

What's the best way to capture all the data on students and families from afterschool attendance to health services and beyond? A Data Throwdown, of course.

Cincinnati's Learning Partners Dashboard combines student-level academic data provided by Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) with student-level service provider data (i.e. mentoring, afterschool tutoring, etc.). It's a unique platform aimed at fundamentally changing how schools and its community partners work together to best support students. Resource Coordinators from CPS' Community Learning Centers are key to collecting data and were up to the Herculean effort inputting the massive amount of data.

The Throwdown allowed coordinators the time, space, and technical support to enter their collected data. To sweeten the pot, event organizers (CPS, Innovations at Children's Hospital, The Strive Partnership, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation) handed out hourly prizes, including a grand prize of an iPad.

Blog Roll

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AFT Champions Community Schools and a Bittersweet Farewell
The Coalition bids a fond farewell to our colleague Shital C. Shah who is starting a new job at the American Federation of Teachers. As Manager of Policy & Partnerships at the Coalition, Shital deepened partnerships, advocated strongly on behalf of community schools, and supported the Community Schools Leadership Network as it reached new heights. In her new role as Assistant Director in Educational Issues, Shital will be building AFT's burgeoning community schools work. She will also be AFT's point person on extended learning time and will support their early childhood education and community engagement efforts.

We are very excited that the AFT, one of the Coalition's many partners,continues to make community schools a key strategy in their efforts to improve education for all children. By adding Shital to their team, they will undoubtedly find great success. We join with all the Coalition's partners in wishing Shital all the best in her new role.

Early-Bird Registration Ends Apr. 6!

Feature Story:

Community Schools are Central to Place-Based Reforms


The present day challenges facing America's educational system call for a host of solutions. The growing gap between the rich and poor has left under-resourced schools struggling to combat hunger, limited health access, and poverty while simultaneously trying to raise academic achievement.

Education and community leaders alike are calling for a broad set of approaches that include better instruction and better support to mitigate poverty's impact on learning. Fortunately, several innovative concepts are emerging that all have the vision of community schools at the center.

The rise of the federally-funded Promise and Choice Neighborhood programs, and others all are built on several key principles, but particularly partnership and accountability.

From the Coalition's perspective community schools must be at the heart of each initiative if these strategies are to be most effective. When the community school vision is embedded into place-based strategies, the potential to achieve the results everyone seeks is taken to a new level. The experience of community school initiatives in Tulsa and Portland demonstrate the possibilities.

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Research & Resources

Events & Opportunities

March 18-21, 2012 Building a Grad Nation Summit, Washington, D.C. (archived video of Sec. Duncan and Portland Public School Superintendent Carole Smith talk about SUN Community Schools)
March 29, 2012 NEA Hosts Webinar on Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 Guide
March 30, 2012 Deadline to Register for Dept. of Ed.'s Labor-Management Conference in Cincinnati
May 9-12, 2012 Community Schools National Forum
July 10-13, 2012 National School Climate Center presents its 15th Annual Summer Institute

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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