Promising Practices to Follow for Community School State Coalitions
Written by Joline Collins
Target Audience: State and Initiative Leaders
On August 7, 2023 the Maine Coalition of Community Schools and the Maine Department of Education organized a one-of-a-kind statewide Visioning Day in Augusta, Maine. Facilitated by Charley Martin-Berry and Julie Redding from the Community Caring Collaborative of Washington County, over 50 participants representing various sectors, institutions, and organizations, gathered to co-create a shared vision and plan to advance Community Schools in Maine.
As outlined in the Building a Community Schools System Guide, once an initiative has convened innovators, assessed readiness, and compiled a rationale for Community Schools, it’s important to engage the larger community to co-create a shared vision and identify core values. By doing so, the initiative begins to build trusting relationships and cultivate the buy-in necessary for scale and sustainability.
While Maine has three state-recognized Community Schools, as authorized and established by Title 20A MRSA Chapter 333, when an internal scan of those organizing in a similar way or who share a similar vision and values was conducted, multiple models emerged. Those models were then identified as critical partners.
While there are many ways to co-create a vision, Maine’s approach and structure of their Visioning Day is one that can be replicated by other states. Essential elements consisted of:
 Maine celebrates that many schools have Community School designations in its title, however, at this time, only 3 receive state funded dollars to support implementation.