Community School Learning Exchange

Spring Forward: Four ways to maximize CS development in the new season

Spring is finally here! Along with shaking out the winter cobwebs, getting more time outdoors, or planting your garden, spring is a great time to start closing the book on another academic calendar year, and solidifying plans for the summer. From a community school development perspective, this is the time to take stock of what you and your team have accomplished this year, and review your implementation plan to see what’s on deck. So, what should you do? Here are our four top ways to make the most of the spring season.

Learning Policy Institute

Redesigning High Schools 10 Features for Success

After studying successfully redesigned schools, the authors of this report created an evidence-based blueprint for designing learning environments that are more humane, enriching, and productive than our current models. Coalition for Community Schools is highlighted on page 117 as a key resource for Community Connections and Integrated Student Supports, a key feature of redesigned high schools. On the same topic, Scale a Community School: A System-Wide Strategy is included on page 118 and Start a Community School is included on page 119. And, lastly, on page 138 your organization is listed as a resource that can help schools engage in redesign.

“Collaborative Leadership” RPN Webinar Slide Deck

Coalition for Community Schools

March for Children and Youth Month Playbook 2024

The March for Children and Youth Month Playbook is designed to provide simple steps to advocate for Community Schools as a vehicle to address inequities children face every day!

Learning Policy Institute

UCLA Community School: Celebrating Language, Culture, and Community

This report tells the story of the UCLA Community School (UCLA-CS), a public school in central Los Angeles. Located in one of California’s most densely populated neighborhoods, UCLA-CS serves a large immigrant population from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade. Of the school’s 957 students, most (83%) are Latino/a; 8% are Asian American or Pacific Islander; 4% are Filipino; 2% are African American; and 2% are white. Ninety-five percent of students come from low-income families; 14% of students have disabilities; and 32% of students are currently classified as English learners. Ninety-five percent of students report that they use a language other than English to communicate with their families.

National 4-H Council

Four Mindsets for Funding Economic Mobility in the Black Rural South

This report explores data and uses interpersonal exchanges to identify four mindsets that, if changed, could significantly impact the effectiveness and support of existing institutions, such as HBCUs, already active in the Black rural South. There is tremendous untapped knowledge, expertise, and experience available to help direct resources to close the opportunity gap. This report provides insights and recommendations to help tap these.

Baltimore Education Research Consortium

Baltimore Community Schools: Promise & Progress

The findings for CommSchs suggest promising indications of increased engagement as reflected in a significantly higher levels of parent connections to school staff and community resources. Attendance is also higher for many students in CommSchs than in non-CommSchs, especially those implementing for five or more years. We continue to find that OST participants attend school more often than similar peers. While we cannot prove causation with this comparative study design, the consistent findings are encouraging, especially for middle school grades where we often see disengagement from school begin.

Learning Policy Institute

Safe Schools, Thriving Students

A rise in the number of school shootings over time has driven increasing attention to school safety. However, school shootings are not the only physical safety threat students may encounter at school. Other types of violence include sexual assault, robbery, physical attack or fights, and threats of physical attack (with or without a weapon). In addition to immediate physical harms, school violence can have long-lasting effects that undermine students’ engagement and mental health. It can also increase drug use and risk of suicide. Although there is widespread agreement that all children and youth deserve a safe and healthy school environment, there is significant debate about how best to promote student safety. As states, districts, and schools consider policies and practices that will promote school safety, they can look to existing research to understand more about the effectiveness of proposed strategies and the potential risk of unintended consequences. Although this report summarizes what is known about the prevalence and effectiveness of strategies to improve student safety in schools, we acknowledge that schools are not the only place where young people experience violence, and there is much to be done to ensure safety in all homes and social spaces.

The Netter Center

This issue of Universities and Community Schools features seven articles written largely by graduate students whose scholarship involves community-engaged research, particularly with local public schools. It includes the perspectives and experiences of students from a range of disciplines, geographies, and institutional types.

Learning Policy Institute

Federal Funding Sources for Community Schools

This report builds on resources to create a comprehensive overview that maps each program to the Essential Elements for Community School Transformation identified by the Community Schools Forward Task Force in January 2023. Some common themes are that each site has unique needs depending on its location (e.g., urban, rural, or tribal) and stage of development (e.g., planning to implement or ready to expand) and that “a mix of funding is essential.”