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Community Schools Bus Tour in California

Community Schools Bus Tour in California

Senator Carol Liu (D-La Cañada, Flintridge; and Chair of the Senate Education Committee) hosted a bus tour called Pathways to Partnership - Community Schools Strategies in Action from October 14 - 16, 2013. 

The bus tour was a three day statewide tour of effective cross-agency partnerships in California that are having dynamic impacts connecting students, parents and schools to local resources so that families and communities thrive. 

Participants, ranging from district, city, county, and business leaders, joined Senator Liu and her staff to visit community school sites with aligned partnership strategies and learn from local leaders engaged in building strategic collaborations.

California has joined the tide of states advocating for and implementing the community schools strategy. Ten states and the District of Columbia, have started to pass legislation, provide funding and/or implement statewide activities promoting the community schools strategy. 
Watch Senator Liu speak about the need for more community schools in California:

Testimonies at State Senate Hearing
News Articles

Bus Tour Blog Series:

Momentum on Twitter
Bus tour participants used the #communityschools  hashtag as they visited community school sites, discussed key collaborative strategies, and advocated for community schools across California.

The Coalition for Community Schools was pleased to support this bus tour. Please review our
Press Release.

For any media efforts, please contact Shama Jamal, at

Bus Tour Agenda

Download the full agenda here.

October 14th – Pasadena, Los Angeles

The City School Partnership was formed by the City of Pasadena and Pasadena Unified School District to maximize and improve access to community resources that benefit the students, families and residents of Pasadena. Through this partnership, the Pasadena City Council and the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education have committed to establish and sustain collaborative initiatives to improve student achievement, expand positive youth development and build stronger neighborhoods. 

9.30 am: Welcome and Overview
Madison Elementary and Health Start Center
Learn more about the community schools strategy.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Education Partnership works with schools to leverage parent and community resources as a vehicle for school improvement, and to form powerful social networks that improve economic opportunities, use resources collaboratively, outreach effectively, and generate lasting change. The Partnership creates learning environments that support high student achievement by strengthening families, schools and communities to support high academic achievement through collaboration. 

11.30 am: Bus Presentation - Community Engagement
Discussion on Esteban Torress High School
Learn more on the best practices of engaging community stakeholders.

12.00 pm: Site Visit - Using Partners Strategically
Thomas Edison Middle School
Learn more on how to align partners strategically to help support school leaders.

2.00 pm: Bus Presentation - School Based Health Center
Drive by Freemont Wellness Center at John C. Fremont High School
Presentation by Los Angeles Trust for Children's Health
Read more on how community schools provide health and mental health support for students and families.

3.00 pm: Site Visit - Pacoima Neighborhood Initiative (Promise Neighborhoods)
Cesar Chavez Learning Academies
Learn more on the role of community schools in broader place-based initiatives such as Promise Neighborhoods.

October 15th – Fresno, Redwood City


Fresno Unified School District received a federal Full Service Community Schools grant in 2008 that helped implement the community school strategy in four schools; one middle and three elementary schools.

9.30 am: Site Visit - Early Learning Collaboration
Heaton Elementary

The stop focused on an early learning collaboration between district, county office of education, and multiple community organizations. There is increasing evidence of successful linkages between community schools and early learning efforts. Community schools provide the vehicle for successful implementation of a comprehensive early childhood development strategy. Click here for more information on the linkages between community schools and early learning.

Redwood City

Redwood City 2020 is a collaboration of public and nonprofit organizations in San Mateo County, CA. Formed in 1995, its mission is to maximize partnerships in support of students and families. Its community schools started with Healthy Start funding from the State of California, an effort to locate support services on school sites. Over the intervening years, the Healthy Start program has evolved and these schools now closely reflect the Community School model that is growing nationwide. Redwood City 2020 now supports four full service community schools and one emerging community school which serve over 3000 students and their families in the Redwood City School District. 

11.00 am: Bus Presentation - Video on Leadership for Community Schools: Superintendents Speak
Coalition for Community Schools' 2012 Community Schools National Conference

3.00 pm: Site Visit - Redwood City School District – Redwood City 2020
Taft School
Learn more on the impact Redwood City 2020 has had on their students and families.

5.00 pm: Bus Presentation - Cities, Counties, Schools Partnership
The Cities, Counties, Schools Partnership - Community Schools Toolkit  is a joint effort of the California State Association of Counties, the California League of Cities and the California School Boards Association.

October 16th – Oakland, Sacramento


In July 2010, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) declared the full-service community school strategy as a core part of their school reform agenda. OUSD reached this point through decades of community organizing efforts, strong nonprofit partners, assistance from a local community foundation, a committed group of local funders, and careful planning in partnership with the community. Read more on how Oakland is lifting up the vision of community schools across the district.

9.30 am: Site Visit - Expanded Learning Opportunities
Oakland Technical High School

The creation of the following video shows how students, in partnership with community partners, can expand their skillset to include multimedia and communication skills. It was 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. 

The bus tour ended in Sacramento, where Senator Liu held a State Senate Education Committee Hearing at 2.30 pm on community schools in the State Capitol. We applaud Senator Liu for advocating for community schools across California. Let's join Senator Liu's efforts! Click here to review the full agenda for the hearing. Click here for a testimony by Jim Mayer, President and CEO of California Forward, at the Senate Hearing. Click here for a testimony from Robert Mahaffey from the Rural School and Community Trust.

Highlights of the Bus Tour in Pictures

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