Communities across the Nation are working to create policies that support the community school strategy. These policies can be used to direct city and district funding or local school or school board policies that support the implementation of community schools. Below are a few examples of this:
SCHOOL BOARD POLICY
The report, Partnerships, Not Pushouts: A Guide for School Board Members on Community Partnerships for Student Succes, is a new "whole-child" policy guide for school board members, developed by the Coalition for Community Schools, the Alliance for Excellent Education, American Federation of Teachers, CASEL, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, Opportunity Action, Opportunity to Learn Campaign, and the Rural School and Community Trust. Review the report and the following for exemplar school board policies:
Las Cruces, NM: Las Cruces School District Community School Resolution
The Las Cruces District Public schools approved a resolution to allocate county resources to support the creation, development, and evolution of community schools in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The resolution creates a school family council, funds full-service community schools coordinators at each community school, and ensures that the school district will complete comprehensive needs assessments to improve essential functions of the strategy.
Pomona, CA: Pomona Community Schools Pilot Program
The Pomona, CA School Board passed a community schools pilot program June 8th, 2016 for implementation in two high schools. The policy defines community schools through six research-based strategies. Some of these strategies include:
· "An emphasis on high-quality teaching, not high stakes testing"
· "Wrap-around supports such as healthcare, eye care, and social and emotional services that support academics."
· "Positive discipline practices such as restorative justice"
The district also encourages key components including an annual assets and needs assessment and full-time coordinators.
Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Board of School Commissioners Community Schools Strategy
The Baltimore Board of School Commissioners approved a policy that defines a community schools strategy for the district. The policy defines key terms including a full-service community school, and outlines a community schools continuum that describes how schools can move toward becoming full-service community schools. In addition, the strategy designates a city-level Community School Steering Committee (CSSC) and outlines a process to involve parents/families through community forums, focus groups, and surveys.
Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh City School District Community Schools Policy
Pttisburgh City School District passed a Community Schools Policy on July 18, 2016. The School Board emphasized that the development and success of the child rely on the impact of the family and community. Therefore, support for families and communities through coordinated partnerships is the strategy they will use to implement a holistic approach to education. The schools that implement the community school model will be chosen through an application process headed by a District Community School Steering Committee. To read the full text of the policy click here.
Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati City School District Community School Policy
Cincinnati Public Schools is creating campuses that strengthen this link between schools and communities. CPS is garnering national recognition for its work to create these Community Learning Centers (CLC) district-wide, not just in isolated neighborhoods. The goal of Cincinnati’s Community Learning Centers is to support student achievement, revitalize neighborhoods and maximize the community's return on their financial investment.
Hayward’s framework for its community schools seeks to fulfill a common set of conditions for learning that ensures that students are engaged, safe, and healthy. Since the district’s new strategy was implemented, truancy rates have significantly declined, and the graduation rate rose from 68% to 93%. The Hayward Unified School District’s Board recognizes the importance of the community schools strategy, and articulated so in its resolution declaring the district a "Full Service Community School District". You can read the full policy here.
Seattle, WA: School and Community Partnership Policy and Lead Community Partner Policy
A federal Full-Service Community School Grantee, the Seattle Public Schools Full Service Community Schools Project works to increase the number of students who meet achievement standards and receive challenging academic content at Cleveland and Rainer Beach High Schools. This initiative works toward these goals through collaboration with community partners, involving families in student education, increasing students' access to academic enrichment and support services, and a focus on student health and development.
Hartford, CT: Hartford Board of Education Policy on Community Schools
Members of the Hartford Community-School Partnership, which launched in July, 2008, are the Hartford Public Schools, the City of Hartford Mayor’s Office (including Hartford Office for Young Children and Office for Youth Services), and the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. The partnership is an outgrowth of a plan developed by Superintendent Steven Adamowski to create a new system of high quality, high performing schools to close the urban-suburban achievement gap.
CITY AND COUNTY POLICY
San Pablo, CA: Resolution Of The City Council Of The City Of San Pablo Authorizing Support For Full Service Community Schools In San Pablo
Walter T. Helms Middle School, San Pablo’s first FSCS initiative, is now the hub and model for the city’s FSCS initiative. The district presented a co-written district-wide full service community schools resolution covering five cities to the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education in November 2012. The board unanimously passed a resolution to implement community schools beginning with its high schools that have school based health centers and two elementary schools, one with a dental clinic in operation.
Multnomah County (Portland), OR: County’s Intergovernmental Agreement
The Schools Uniting Neighborhoods Initiative is a collaboration of city, county, state and school districts in Portland/Multnomah County, Oregon. Fifty-three SUN Schools work to extend the school day and strive to be a community "hub" by linking with other community institutions, such as the libraries, parks and community centers, neighborhood health clinics and area churches and businesses.