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Part Three: Stage 4 Overview

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6

MILESTONES:
BUILD POLITICAL CAPACITY


STAGE 4: PLAN FOR SUSTAINABILITY
OVERVIEW


By now, planners have translated their broad vision of a scaled-up system of community schools into a practical plan for rollout. Planning during Stage 4 focuses on the fourth characteristic of effective scale-up—sustainability. The initiative looks closely at the financial, human, political, and social resources required to implement rollout and to sustain growth and development amid competing political demands. Financial and political support is essential to scale-up, and each depends on and promotes the other. When stakeholders are in full agreement on the need to achieve agreed upon results and the ability of community schools to achieve them; when the initiative ensures transparent accountability; and when the community is aware of and supports community school scale up, key policymakers are more inclined to look carefully at their existing resources and use them in different ways.

School and community partners must project the funding levels needed to scale up a system of community schools and support the initiative’s continuing work. More specifically, stakeholders must develop a long-range financing plan to support community schools coordinators, identify partner resources, leverage additional funding, and align assets. The rollout plan developed in Stage 3 may require revision in accordance with financial realities, but it should not undermine the major functions of the initiative.

At the same time, the initiative must build adequate political capacity to ensure policy and resource support for its work. Partners must marshal support within their respective organizations, including the school district, and continue to foster collaborative leadership and community engagement. Renewed efforts to build relationships with state and federal partners and with like-minded reform efforts must also continue. In addition, it is particularly important to assemble networks of champions to support scale-up efforts. All of these activities position the initiative for successful implementation in Stage 5 and for long-term sustainability.  

 


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