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Vol. X Issue 4 July 2013

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Vol. X Issue 4 July 2013

In this Issue

  • Feature: The Role of Community Schools in Place-based Initiatives 
  • New Partner Highlight
  • Design the Logo for the 2014 Community Schools National Forum!
  • ELO Blog Series
  • Events and Opportunities
  • Coalition Hosts Dialogue with National Experts
  • News
  • Research and Resources

New Partner Highlight
We are excited to announce our newest national partner, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).Click here to read more...

Events and Opportunities

October 16-18, 2013:
Children's Aid Society, National Center for Community Schools Practicum 

November 14-15, 2013: Midwest Community Schools Forum, Illinois Federation for Community Schools

April 9-11, 2014: 2014 Community Schools National Forum – Cincinnati, OH



Innovations in Expanded Learning Opportunities:
The Community Schools Approach – NINE week blog series

Our first eight blogs are now live:

Community Schools are Scaling and Sustaining Innovative ELO Practices

Blog 1:
Cincinnati is Open for Business during School Breaks 

Blog 2: New Haven - Boosting Afterschool with Partners and Data to Get Results

Blog 3: Strengthening ELO Activities into the Weekend 

Blog 4:
Discover the Summer in Ogden

Blog 5: Breakfast Buddies: Empowering Students in the Before-School Hours at Roosevelt Elementary Community School

Blog 6:
A Different School Year Calendar: Continuous Learning, Enrichment, and Support when Extended Year Schools are on Break

Blog 7:
Innovating STEM Learning Opportunities with Higher Education Institutions

Blog 8:
Experiment with School Year Calendars Supported by Community Partners

 ELO Blog Webpage:

Tweet: @CommSchools #CommunitySchoolsELO

FEATURE: The Role of Community Schools in Place-based Initiatives

Across the United States, communities are   thinking  differently about how to transform their schools and  neighborhoods. There is tremendous excitement  about strategies that weave  together resources in a clearly  defined "place" to collectively  improve outcomes for  children, youth, families, and communities.

A new paper  released  by the Coalition  for Community Schools, PolicyLink and the West Coast  Collaborative, entitled, "The  Role of Community Schools in  Place-Based Initiatives:   Collaborating for Student Success," explores how community schools provide the needed local infrastructure and community buy-in for place-based initiatives to gain traction.
The paper explores the relationship between various place-based strategies such as community schools, promise neighborhood and cradle-to-career efforts and the potential associated with the alignment of these strategies operating within the same geographic areas. It is based on the experiences and lessons of community school initiatives in three communities Los Angeles (CA), Multnomah County, including the City of Portland (OR), and South King County (WA). These initiatives have been able to strategically align their work with promise neighborhood and cradle-to-career efforts, such as the Road Map project in South King County, Los Angeles Promise Neighborhoods, and All Hands Raised in Portland.

Note: A webinar based on this report is being planned for early September. More information will be available soon.

Design the Logo for the 2014 Community Schools National Forum!

The Coalition for Community Schools is looking to its partners, friends and students to help design the logo for the Community Schools National Forum which will be in Cincinnati, OH April 9-11, 2014.

The logo should illustrate the theme of this year's national forum: 
Opportunity for All: Community Schools The Engine for Change 

The winning design will be used on website, posters, email and featured prominently at the National Forum.
The artist and/or program will be credited on the poster, and the image will be featured on our website.            

  1. Drawings can be either horizontal or vertical. 
  2. The logo will be produced in both black and white and in full color. Bold colors will come out better than light colors. 
  3. Please keep in mind that the artwork will be scanned into a computer; textures or raised surfaces may present a problem. 
  4. Please include the name and contact information of the artist/illustrator. 
  5. Entries may be submitted electronically or by mail by Sept 13, 2013.

Electronically: Send the image or link to
Mail: The Coalition for Community Schools, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW | Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20008-2304

Questions? Contact Brent Schondelmeyer at (816) 410-8350 or

The winning logo will be selected by the Coalition for Community School Steering Committee at the September meeting. The winning selection will receive a free registration to the National Forum and alternatively an iPad.

This is a challenging theme and we are open to any kinds of visual representation. We plan on sharing the various submissions on the Community Schools website and during the National Forum.

This idea was inspired by the approach by our friends and National Partners' at the Afterschool Alliances which sponsors an annual student poster contest for its annual Lights on Afterschool event.

You can see a gallery of their student poster submissions at

Coalition Hosts Dialogue with National Experts on School and Community Partnerships

On June 25th and 26th, the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago hosted over 50 thought leaders from the education, youth development, community change, health/social services, and higher education in Washington, DC to examine the importance of school and community partnerships as a central element of a comprehensive approach to improving academic, social, emotional, health and civic outcomes for children and youth, and for addressing critical policy challenges related to school readiness, attendance, school discipline, graduation rates and college access and completion.

Paul Reville from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and the former Massachusetts Secretary of Education opened the meeting with a keynote address about the role of partnerships in a new view of school reform that supports all children. He said: "We are going to need robust partners to re-conceptualize what we do in the field of education and child development so that we actually develop a genuine 21st century learning… that enables us to deliver on the promise of education reforms."

Thought leaders participated in panel and small group discussions to explore the implementation and policy implications of the role of partnerships in school reform. Participants heard from a panel of national experts including Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Mary Ronan, Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools; Carlos Azcoitia Chicago School Board Member, and Harold Barber, Principal in Baltimore Public Schools.

They also engaged local leaders who are using school-community partnership strategies to achieve results in their communities. These included Ellen Pais, President, Los Angeles Education Partnership; Curtiss Sarikey, Associate Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District; Mary Anne Schmitt, President, Say Yes to Education (Syracuse and Buffalo); Harold Fitrer, President, Communities in Schools of Richmond; and Eve Bolton, President, Cincinnati Board of Education.

Overall, the meeting facilitated important conversations on a range of topics including redefining and recalibrating school reform, family engagement, equity, teacher and principal training, and more. A full report will be made available this fall.


  • AFT Launches Reclaiming the Promise (AFT Press Release)
    At the American Federation of Teacher's TEACH conference this week, President Randi Weingarten laid out a vision to reclaim the promise of public education.
  • BLOG: Alternative ABC's(Forum for Youth Investment)
    More and more schools use Early Warning Systems to monitor student data on Attendance, Behavior and Course performance, and to trigger reviews for those who reach red flag levels. What if we combined those education indicators with youth development indicators to create a holistic early warning system for young people? Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, seeks answers in her latest blog, and invites your thoughts.
  • What New York Sees in Cincinnati (Huffington Post)
    Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld blogs about how the success of the Cincinnati Community Learning Centers are enticing New York City Mayoral candidates to learn about linking schools and communities toward mutually beneficial ends
  • Coalition BLOG: Connecting the Dots: Inequality and Education and the Need for Community (Huffington Post)
    Coalition Director, Martin J. Blank blogs for the Huffington Post about the importance of educating children in the early years to make sure they are prepared  and ready to learn when they enter school.
  • Building Schools, Building Communities: Creating Community Revitalization Zones in Baltimore (The Baltimore Sun)
    The Baltimore Public Schools plan to dedicate the next ten years to rebuilding and refurbishing their previously neglected schools. Partners like Elev8 will be invaluable to the Baltimore Public Schools as they transform structurally and organizationally. Educating a child requires an entire community, and while the progress is slow, the politicians, administrators and school leaders have many ideas about how to refurbish the Baltimore Public schools inside and out.
  • Oakland Elev8 Community School Delivers Full Service Community Law (East Bay Community Law Center)
    East Bay Community Law Center delivers full service community law as part of Full-Service Community Schools.
  • Elementary Students in Kansas City Attend a Different Kind of Summer School (The Kansas City Star)
    Local Investment Commissions (LINC) community school, Pitcher Elementary is Kansas City, MO is making an impact in summer learning for their most disadvantaged kids.
  • Open Letter to OUSD Superintendent Tony Smith (Oakland Local)
    An open letter to Superintendent Tony Smith of Oakland Unified School District from Mirella Rangel,  Executive Director of Oakland Leaf, and the secretary for the Great Oakland Public Schools board.
  • New Federal Program Offers Promise for Ogden Neighborhoods (The Standard-Examiner)
    Ogden is in the process of applying for the Federal Promise Neighborhood implementation grant, after winning the planning grant, in hopes of revitalizing their neighborhoods and supporting their students to be college and career ready.

Click here to read more news....

Research & Resources

  • New Report Shows Strong demand for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) from Teachers Across the Nation 
    A new national survey released at the 2013 CASEL Forum highlighted in The Missing Piece, a report by Civic Enterprises with Hart Research, also found that teachers believe social and emotional learning is critical to student success in school, work and life. The report also recommends effective coordination with out-of-school partners.
  • Out-of-School Time in Elev8 Community Schools
    Elev8’s most recent publication analyzes the longitudinal data collected to determine the value of OST. When trying to illustrate the importance of OST, Elev8 selected three main indicators of success: improved academic performance, improved behavior, and increased parental involvement, and discusses how each has been positively impacted by the installment of OST in the four Elev8 regions.
  • New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in the Digital Age
    This report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation introduces a new way to tap into students creativity, with an added emphasis on incorporating technology. Differing from traditional arts classes seen in school, Interest-Driven Arts Learning allows for more individual autonomy. The report focuses on the ways Interest-Driven Art can be implemented and applied to youth today.
  • Better Together: Building Local Systems to Improve Afterschool
    This new report from the Wallace Foundation captures clear themes about how systems can open the way to strong afterschool programming for more disadvantaged children – by improving program quality, collecting and using data for informed decision-making, getting the mayor on board, and even finding creative solutions to transportation problems.


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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