How this school went from the brink of closure to a 95% graduation rate

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“We have to get kids to love school. If we get them to love school, it fosters their commitment to getting a great education. It motivates them to overcome and transcend their circumstances to be the best students they could possibly be,” Gordon says, explaining the central tenet to community schooling.

Conceptually, community schooling has been around since 1902, when seminal educational reformer John Dewey espoused the idea in a speech to the National Education Association. Though the idea has been championed by educators ever since, it’s rarely implemented in schools. Many school districts instead opt for test-based evaluations of student and school performance.

At Robeson, the community schooling process is deductive. Robeson teachers and staff will identify the specific needs of their students and residents of the surrounding community. The Robeson officials then meet with administrators from the Netter Center, the community outreach arm at the nearby University of Pennsylvania, to develop university-assisted community school programming to address those challenges.”

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