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Vol. VIII No. 10

December 2011
Vol. VIII No. 9

Inside This Issue:
Spotlight on: The Crucial Role of Teachers and Teacher Unions
Research & Resources

Spotlight: The Crucial Role of Teachers and Teacher Unions 

The community schools movement is growing, and with it, the involvement and support of teachers, paraprofessionals, and their unions.

National teacher unions have always been strong supporters of the community schools strategy. The two largest, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, are both original partners in the Coalition for Community Schools. Now, local union affiliates are increasingly getting involved in community school initiatives.

Implementing a community school requires ways of thinking and acting that are different from traditional schools. Not only do community schools need strong partnerships, but educators must also make important decisions about scheduling, personnel, and instruction. With the shared leadership structure of a community school, it behooves teachers and their unions to be involved in those decision-making processes, according to union leaders we spoke with.

"The bottom line is community schools do not improve student achievement alone. The only way you can get that is participation from teachers," said Joan Devlin, Senior Associate Director at the American Federation of Teachers.

Devlin, a Coalition Steering Committee member since 1997, who is soon retiring, has been pushing teachers as essential partners in community school initiatives for more than two decades.

An involved union can help community partners understand issues from their members' perspective and assist teachers and other staff in crafting mutually satisfactory solutions.

The Coalition, in partnership with the Center for American Progress, released a report Jan. 18 that argues that districts, unions, and other key stakeholders must share ownership and work collaboratively to build strong communities.

Click her to read more about union involvement in community schools.

Download a PDF of The Crucial Role of Teachers and Teacher Unions

Click here for our updated 'Your Leadership Role' webpage for unions 



Community School Indicators: The Coalition is proud to announce a new project that will identify important indicators of community school success. Working with nine pilot community and researchers, the Coalition plans to collect data annually to continue to demonstrate the impact of community schools.  

United Way (Knoxville) Exploring Community Schools

Springfield (MO) Close to Opening Its First Community School

Oakland Takes on Chronic Absences Using Community Schools Model

City and School Leaders Will Give Direction on Future of Community Learning Centers

Lehigh Valley Educators Warn Legislators about State's Cuts to School Funding

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In Support of Community Schools

Let's Focus on Chronic Absenteeism

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The Center for American Progress released two reports on school-community partnerships this week. Lightening The Load (left) highlights how wraparound services found in community schools make teachers more effective. Achieving Results Through Community School Partnerships (authored by the Coalition) highlights the successful partnerships and strategies of community schools forged by school district and community leaders.

Center for American Progress hosted a roundtable discussion Jan. 18 in conjunction with the release of the reports. Click here for more information. 


Research & Resources

NEW REPORT: The Benefits of High-Quality, Out-of-School Programs for Children of Latino Immigrants

NEW REPORT: The Value of College-Readiness Indicators and Interventions: Lessons from Chicago 

American Federation of Teachers Highlights Coalition's Linkages Project 

Funding Opportunities

2012 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants

2012 AmeriCorps National and State Grants

Scaling Up School-Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy

Download presentations and recordings from the Scaling Up Webinar Series

Opportunities & Events

January 24, 2012 WEBINAR: Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities: The Community Schools Way  
February 2, 2012 School at the Hub: Community Partnerships in Boston Public Schools Report Release and Panel Discussion


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, DC.


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