Start a Community School

The Community Schools Framework: Essentials for Community School Transformation

Alt text: A colorful wheel highlights the Essentials for Community School Transformation: a dark blue outer band describes the supportive infrastructure (sustainable resources, shared governance structures, etc.). Within that, a light blue band describes the key practices: Powerful student and family engagement; collaborative leadership and shared power and voice; expanded and enriched learning opportunities; rigorous, community-connected classroom instruction; culture of belonging, safety, and care; integrated systems of support. Within that, a teal band describes the enabling conditions (trusting relationships, shared vision, etc.) and an orange band describes who drives the work (school staff & coordinators, youth & families, community partners). At the center, highlighted in yellow is why we do this work: so all students flourish in thriving school communities.

Getting Started

Source: Partnership for the Future of Learning

The resources and tools provided below will help leaders design and implement Community Schools in any rural, suburban, urban and tribal community.

Community Schools leaders and practitioners have spent years honing their practice and identifying what works where and under what conditions. The voluntary Community School Site Standards draw on that experience and offers a touchstone of our collective wisdom.

The Community School Site Standards define best practices and are designed to engage and support the Community Schools movement as a standards-driven, evidence-based strategy to promote equity and educational excellence for each and every child. We recognize that creating a Community School is a developmental process, so schools should not be surprised if they are not at high levels of performance on every standard.

The standards have three objectives:

  • To help new Community Schools more effectively develop and implement their Community School plans;
  • To assist existing Community Schools to strengthen the quality of their practice and document outcomes; and
  • To provide a consistent language and framework for advocacy, technical assistance, research, funding, and policy efforts.


Listed below are resources critical to the Community Schools Strategy. You can also visit our Resource Library for additional information.

Community School Site Standards

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Community Schools Playbook

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Financing Community Schools

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