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Vol. X Issue 6 September 2013

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Vol. X Issue 6 September 2013

In this Issue

  • Community Schools Grow Across New York State
  • Video: Community Schools, Thriving Students - Oakland USD
  • John Gilligan: In Memoriam
  • National Forum Workshop Proposal Deadline Extended!
  • Events
  • News
  • Research & Resources


October 16-18, 2013: Community School Practicum, Children's Aid Society
November 14-15, 2013:
Midwest Community Schools Forum, Illinois Federation for Community Schools

SAVE THE DATE! February 2014, Bay Area Community Schools Network Conference

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

National Forum Workshop Proposal Deadline Extended!

Monday, October 14, 2013, 11:59 pm EST

Don’t miss your opportunity to present at the Coalition for Community Schools National Forum – Opportunity for All: Community Schools, the Engine of Change

Complete the workshop application online by clicking here. Before you submit your workshop, check out the application in (WORD or PDF

We look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati!

Tweet @CommSchools #Opp4All                              

Community Schools Grow Across New York State 

Community Schools are not new in New York State, but implementation of the strategy to help improve schools and provide enriching opportunities for students, has been growing all across the state. Building upon the work of Coalition for Community School’s partners’ such as The Children’s Aid Society, Beacons, Say Yes to Education and Harlem Children’s Zone, in January 2013, Governor Cuomo established a new Education Reform Commission that recommended community schools as a strategy to help strengthen the academic pipeline from pre-kindergarten through college in some of New York's neediest neighborhoods. The New York State Education Department, in conjunction with the Governor and the Council on Children and Families, has released a RFP for a $15 million community schools competitive grant. 

We are very pleased to see continued momentum at the state level for policies and funding that are supportive of community schools. Below are brief descriptions of the community school work happening with Coalition partners all across New York State:

Momentum for Community Schools Grows in New York City

Union and District Administrators Unite to Open Community Schools
Early this year, Partnership for New York City (a network of the city’s top CEOs), the City Council, and the teachers’ union (UFT) collaborated to launch a pilot grant program to open six community. The program gave $60,000 to the initial cohort of six schools to allow those schools to construct community partnerships that will provide services tailored to the needs of the school and surrounding population. The six schools will work in partnership with the Children's Aid Society. 

More recently, the Union’s Community Learning Schools Initiative received a $700,000 grant from the New York State Senate that will help fund 16 community schools this year. Click here to read more.

Cincinnati's Community Schools are a Model for New York Schools in Mayoral Race
In the city’s recent Mayoral race, Cincinnati’s community schools were a model for education reform agendas for democratic candidates, such as Christine Quinn and now primary winner Bill de Blasio (see article by the New York Times). In a letter to the editor also published in The New York Times, Natasha Capers, a parent leader and spokeswoman for A+ NYC, offered the PS 2013 Education Roadmap that highlights community schools as a plan for the city schools.

The movement in New York City has been significantly influenced and inspired by Coalition partners such as the Children’s Aid Society, Harlem Children’s Zone, and Beacon Schools. Click here to read more.

Video: Community Schools, Thriving
Students - Oakland Unified School District

An animated video project on the role community schools can play in uplifting children and neighborhoods. Created by Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) students in the Media Enterprise Alliance (MEA) journalism and multimedia program sponsored by OUSD's Communications Department and KDOLTV-27. Watch the video here.

John Gilligan: In Memoriam

Jack Gilligan

The community schools field lost a key leader and champion when John Gilligan passed away recently at the age of 92. 

A former Ohio governor, Gilligan helped to initiate and oversee the transformation of Cincinnati Public Schools into Community Learning Centers as a member of the Cincinnati Board of Education.

I recall when Governor Gilligan first called my office and said, unassumingly, "This is Jack Gilligan."  Political junkie that I am, I asked if this was former Governor Gilligan, and of course it was.  Jack graciously met me at the airport when he invited me to speak about community learning centers and community schools at the Cincinnati Civic Forum which he then directed.  His actions demonstrated that he understood how important personal relationship are to getting things done.

Seeing the value of collaboration between schools and communities, Gilligan encouraged the Cincinnati Public Schools district to adopt a community schools strategy. He said:

"The park board, the recreation commission, the board of health, the library board—all of them are doing things in the neighborhood but not always in a coordinated fashion. To get them thinking in terms of not just doing their own thing their own way but coming into a community effort and joining a community effort—that will make the total impact greater than the sum of the parts."

That vision was crucial to the development of what is now one of the nation’s leading community schools initiatives.  Jack surely must have been proud that New York City, Knoxville, TN, and leaders in many other places around the country were visiting Cincinnati to learn about the exemplary work of the Cincinnati Public Schools, its community partners and the Community Learning Centers Institute.

Gilligan was the kind of leader that our society so desperately needs today…a leader who understood that it did not matter who was in charge, it mattered whether leaders worked together to solve problems, educate our children and strengthen our families and communities. 

We send our condolences to his family, all of whom are dedicated to doing good work in their community and to the public’s welfare.   And we send our sympathy to our many friends and colleagues in Cincinnati who continue to pursue Jack’s vision. 

We will miss him.

Martin J. Blank, President
Institute for Educational Leadership
Director, Coalition for Community Schools


  • PBS's American Graduate Series Highlights Community Schools
    Community schools were highlighted on Public Broadcasting Services’ American Graduate Day Series on September 28th. The series promoted the need to address the dropout crisis that is prevalent in high schools across the country, and highlights enriching and expanded learning for students at Harrison High School, a community school in Evansville, Indiana.   
  • Community Schools Recognized by President and Secretary of Education (Coalition Press Release)
    President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have expressed strong support for community schools in public announcements the past two weeks.
  • UFT Receives 700G for Community Schools from New York State Senate (United Federation of Teachers)
    The UFT’s Community Learning Schools Initiative received a welcome $700,000 grant on Sept. 25 from the New York State Senate that will help fund 16 community schools this year.
  • First In-School Dental Clinic Opens in Cincinnati (
    Ohio’s first school-based dental clinic opened at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill on Monday.
  • Woodland Early Learning Community School Receives Major State Grant (Local Investment Commission)
    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recently announced Woodland Early Learning Community School will get a major new state grant to help it develop as an early learning center.
  • Pasadena’s School, Community Work Plan Set in Motion (Pasadena Now)
    The Community Work Plan seeks to join and align efforts with the School District, the City, and the whole community to narrow the achievement gap in schools and improve the quality of life for all citizens of Pasadena by using the “community schools” concept of setting common goals and strategizing together. The formal kick-off brought the vision beyond the city and school district to involve community organizations.
  • DC Mayor Announces Six Community School Grantees (
    DC Mayor announces six community school grantees for the school year 2013-2014.
  • Indiana Superintendent Launches Outreach Division to Support Parent and Community Engagement
    Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz kicked off the department's new statewide Outreach Division for School Improvement, Sept. 5, at George Washington Community High School (GWCHS) on the Indianapolis Near Westside.
  • Community Schools Vital to a Healthy Community
    In National Network for Community Education newsletter, Dan Ranieri, Ph.D., President & CEO of La Frontera Arizona, Inc., an organization that is committed to working collaboratively with our public and private partners to solve community problems, writes about Tucson, Arizona’s efforts to implement the community schools strategy across various school districts that were interested in utilizing this model.

     Click here to read more news...

Research & Resources

  • Early Childhood Community School Linkages: Advancing a Theory of Change
    This new publication highlights the work of the Early Childhood and Community Schools Linkages Project and the lessons learned from the sites (Tulsa, OK; Multnomah County, OR; and, Albuquerque, NM) to advance a Theory of Change for aligning early childhood learning with elementary education. This work is grounded in a coherent rationale and designates a series of indicators that demonstrate system-level, setting-level and individual-level practices to promote smooth transitions to early grades and growth across youth development outcomes for all children. To learn more about the Institute for Educational Leadership's early childhood work, click here.             
  • Districts Invited to Apply for $120 Million in RTT-D Funds to Support Classroom-Level Reform
    The U.S. Department of Education has finalized the application for the 2013 Race to the Top-District competition, which will provide nearly $120 million to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness. Applications due October 3rd. For resources from the Coalition for Community Schools, click here.
  • IEL's Weekly Parent-Teacher Twitter Chats (Institute for Educational Leadership)
    New weekly Parent-Teacher Twitter chats (#PTchat) enable parents, family engagement practitioners, teachers, students and others to develop new and innovative approaches to partnerships. Join PTchat Live! 


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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