“The challenges we face in today’s education landscape rarely have simple policy solutions. The youth mental health crisis, insufficient community and family engagement, and lack of access to early childhood learning are only a handful of the complex issues that require innovative strategies that extend beyond the school walls. Thanks to recent investments at the federal and state level, thousands of public schools are transforming into hubs that facilitate community-wide collaboration on these and other challenges by embracing a “community school” framework.
Community schools are not to be confused with traditional neighborhood schools. The community school model provides a mechanism for schools and communities to co-create a plan that addresses the unique priorities and vision of the local community. In many places, this means connecting classroom instruction to local issues to provide a real-world learning experience for students. Community schools develop strategic partnerships to support a range of services, like early childhood education, mental health support, academic tutoring, before and after school programming, mentorship, healthy meals and more to support students and communities from cradle to career. Community schools create the space for families, students, and community members to have a voice in decision-making, recognizing that education is a shared responsibility.”
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