Partnerships for Excellence - Coalition for Community Schools by wuyunyi


									            Prepublication Draft


 P A R T N E R S H I P S for E X C E L L E N C E

          A community school is both a set of part-
          nerships and a place where services, sup-
          ports and opportunities lead to improved
          student learning, stronger families and
          healthier communities. Using public schools
          as a hub, inventive, enduring relationships
          among educators, families, community vol-
          unteers, business, health and social service
          agencies, youth development organizations,
          and others committed to children are
          changing the educational landscape — per-
          manently — by transforming traditional
          schools into partnerships for excellence.

     Strengthening schools, families and communities
                                                                    from many different sectors and walks of life.
                                                                    There is a role for all members of a community to
                                                                    play in making community schools a reality. School
                                                                    superintendents, principals, local elected officials,

E          very recent poll and survey agrees:
           Education is America’s number-one
           domestic policy issue. Communities across
the country are looking for ways not just to reform
                                                                    public and private human services agencies, youth
                                                                    development organizations, community organiza-
                                                                    tions and community development groups, busi-
                                                                    ness, and civic and religious organizations all can
schools but to create excellence. We’d like to tell
                                                                    bring leadership and resources to bear. We hope
you about one way that works: developing partner-
                                                                    you will be excited by what’s happening in these
ships called community schools.
                                                                    growing experiments and find some way to
      What is a community school? Boiled down to
                                                                    encourage similar efforts where you live. Why?
the basics, a community school is both a set of
                                                                    Because now more than ever, they just make sense.
partnerships and a place where services, supports
and opportunities lead to improved student learn-
ing, stronger families and healthier communities.                   WHAT A COMMUNITY SCHOOL
Using public schools as a hub, inventive, enduring                  LOOKS LIKE
relationships among educators, families, community
                                                                                wide range of models and approaches
volunteers, business, health and social service agen-
cies, youth development organizations and others
committed to children are changing the educational
landscape — permanently — by transforming tradi-
                                                                    A           can fit into a basic community school
                                                                                framework. Every school is unique,
                                                                    but here’s the Coalition’s broad vision of a well-
tional schools into partnerships for excellence.                    developed community school.
      The Coalition for Community Schools, 142                           A community school, operating in a public
local, state and national organizations in both the                 school building, is open to students, families and
public and private sectors, is working to sustain                   the community before, during and after school,
these efforts and extend them into your community.                  seven days a week, all year long. It is operated
As the community school profiles on pages 6–10                      jointly through a partnership between the school
illustrate, these initiatives are the result of the dedi-           system and one or more community agencies.
cation, innovation and collaboration of people                      Families, youth, principals, teachers and neighbor-
                                                                    hood residents help design and implement activities
                                                                    that promote high educational achievement and use
The community schools, whatever the                                 the community as a resource for learning.
dif ferences among them caused by vary-                                  The school is oriented toward the community,
ing economic and social patter ns, have                             encouraging student learning through community
a common philosophy. These schools                                  service and service learning. A before- and after-
are based upon the democratic ideal of                              school learning component allows students to build
respect for each individual person and                              on their classroom experiences, expand their hori-
his right to participate in the af fairs of                         zons, contribute to their communities and have
the com munity which concer n the common                            fun. A family support center helps families with
good … Such a program is characterized by                           child-rearing, employment, housing and other
change in response to changing needs, con-                          services. Medical, dental and mental health services
tinuous experimentation to seek out                                 are readily accessible.
satisfactory ways of achieving common                                    Artists, lawyers, psychologists, college faculty
goals, and careful evaluation of the                                and students, businesspeople, neighbors, and family
results of its activities.                                          members come to support and bolster what schools
           — Community Schools in Action: The Flint Program, 1960   are working hard to accomplish — ensuring young

people’s academic, interpersonal and career success.                     Fueled by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Their presence turns schools into places that crackle              and its work in Flint, Michigan, a formal community
with the excitement of doing, experiencing and                     education movement gained national visibility in the
discovering unknown talents and strengths. Com-                    1930s. Its goal was to make schools the social, edu-
munity schools open up new channels for learning                   cational and recreational anchor of communities
and self-expression. Students come early and stay                  and to involve adults as well as young people in
late — because they want to.                                       lifelong learning.
     Ideally, a full-time community school coordi-                       In the past decade, the number of school-
nator oversees the delivery of an array of supports                community initiatives has increased dramatically.
provided by local agency partners and participates                 Today’s community schools may differ from one
on the management team for the school. To                          another in model and approach, but they are rooted
achieve their desired results, most community                      in a common tradition and share a core set of prin-
schools over time consciously link activities in the               ciples: They foster strong partnerships, share
following areas: quality education; positive youth                 accountability for results, set high expectations for
development; family support; family and commu-                     all, build on the community’s strengths, embrace
nity engagement in decision-making; and commu-                     diversity and avoid cookie-cutter solutions. Each
nity development.                                                  principle is important — essential even — to the
                                                                   successful operation of community schools. But
BUILDING ON CORE PRINCIPLES                                        one stands out among the others: Community
                                                                   schools foster strong partnerships.
                                                                         Partners in community schools represent a

           he idea of community schools is not new.
                                                                   range of sectors and embody a rich mosaic of
           Settlement houses, offering an array of
                                                                   perspectives and experiences. Against this
           opportunities to neighborhood residents,
                                                                   backdrop of diversity, the talent, energy and
first developed in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s,
                                                                   commitment of partners coalesce around the
educators and others began to explore ways to
                                                                   shared mission of improving the lives of children,
bring these opportunities into public schools, mak-
                                                                   youth, families and the community. Partners work
ing schools social centers for communities.

What Happens in a Community School?
I n a community school, youth, families and com-
  munity residents work as equal partners with
schools and other community institutions to develop
                                                                    Family support — Family resource centers, early
                                                                    childhood development programs, and coordinated health
                                                                    and social services build on individual strengths and
programs and services in five areas:                                enhance family life.
                                                                    Family and community engagement — Family
Quality education — High-caliber curriculum and                     members and other residents actively participate in design-
instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic        ing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality activi-
standards and use all of the community’s assets as                  ties in the school and community.
resources for learning.                                             Community development — All participants focus
Youth development — Young people develop their                      on strengthening the social networks, economic viability
assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers          and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.
and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.

A community school differs from a traditional school because the various partners are not conducting business as usual.
They are working together toward common results; changing their funding patterns; transforming the practice of their staffs;
and working creatively and respectfully with youth, families and residents to create a different kind of institution.

                                                                    P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 3
together every step along the way in developing         • At I.S. 218, the Children’s Aid Society flagship
community schools — from identifying assets and         school, math performance rose from 37 percent of
needs to designing programs and services that meet      students at grade level in 1994 to 44 percent in
those needs to implementing programs and services       1995 and 51 percent in 1996.
and assessing impact.
                                                        RESULTS IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

WORKING TOWARD                                          • Students in St. Louis Park, Minn., have
POSITIVE RESULTS                                        increased their standing in a national assessment of
                                                        positive youth development assets conducted by
                                                        the Minneapolis-based Search Institute. Ranked

          ommunity schools know that it is not
          enough to mean well, they must do well.       about average when they first began taking the sur-
          Each community school ideally is organ-       vey, St. Louis Park students now show assets that
ized around a strategic framework that allows com-      place them in the top 15 percent of schools partici-
munities to move systematically toward results.         pating in the national evaluation.
Stakeholders come together to identify the results      • In interviews conducted by the Academy for
they are seeking for children, families and commu-      Educational Development, students in New York
nities and to devise ways to measure progress toward    City’s Beacons programs say that Beacons is signifi-
achieving these results. Their discussions also serve   cantly helpful in “avoiding drug use,” “learning to
as a forum for articulating and solidifying the pur-    avoid fighting,” “doing better in school” and “vol-
pose and goals of the community school initiative.      unteering in community.”
     Community schools across the country are col-
                                                        RESULTS IN FAMILY WELL-BEING
lecting data related to student learning and achieve-
ment, youth development, family well-being, and         • According to the Bush Center for Child
community life. Results of these data collection        Development, Yale University, parents who
efforts suggest that when adequately sustained,         received services at Schools of the 21st Century
community school activities can contribute to           were able to improve their child development
improvements in these areas.                            practices, were less stressed, spent less money on
                                                        child care and missed fewer days of work.
                                                        • Missouri’s Caring Communities sites report that
• Charles Drew Elementary School, a West                instances of child abuse or neglect declined 15 per-
Philadelphia Improvement Corps site, showed             cent between 1996 and 1998 compared with a 10
more improvement on the state’s standardized            percent decline in other communities in the state.
reading and math tests in 1999 than any other
                                                        RESULTS IN COMMUNITY LIFE
school in the state.
• At Hampton Year Round Elementary, a                   • Principals at Schools of the 21st Century
United Way/Bridges to Success program in                reported less vandalism, increased parental involve-
Greensboro, N.C., the proportion of students who        ment, better teaching practices and improved public
scored at or above grade level increased on state       relations with the community because of expanded
reading tests (43.6 percent in 1997 compared with       services offered in the school.
50.5 percent in 1998), writing tests (45.6 percent
in 1997 compared with 70.7 percent in 1998) and
math tests (45.6 percent in 1997 compared with
55.1 percent in 1998). In recognition of these
increases, the school was awarded state “Exemplary
School” status.

                                                        school approaches. The experiences of these com-
                                                        munities suggest the value of linkage to national
                                                        and state networks — from Beacons Schools and
                                                        Community Education to Caring Communities,
           ommunity schools build on the basics —

C          families, neighborhoods and academics —
           to create 21st century excellence. The
following profiles illustrate the many different ways
                                                        Children’s Aid Society and Communities in
                                                        Schools to ventures that are university assisted or
                                                        United Way supported, as well as numerous others.
                                                        These organized approaches provide valuable sup-
communities can embrace the activities and core
                                                        port — from technical assistance in planning, start-
principles guiding community schools. They under-
                                                        up and public awareness to training, financing and
score the commitment of community schools to
                                                        evaluation. Tapping into a network can help locali-
support and help improve academic achievement.
                                                        ties see how to connect the various elements of a
They include elementary, middle and high schools
                                                        community school into a comprehensive whole.
located in urban, suburban and rural communities.
                                                             None of these examples would exist without
     Each initiative has created a unique design that
                                                        significant support. Support from families and
takes advantage of local resources and capacity.
                                                        communities; strong leadership, often through
Exactly what goes on in a particular community
                                                        state and local community collaboratives; linkage
school depends on what each community and
                                                        to a network or other source of technical assis-
school decide to do. Typically parents, community
                                                        tance; and a predictable source of revenue — from
agencies, students and school staff work together to
                                                        federal, state and local governments; local United
decide what is most needed and possible — in their
                                                        Ways; foundation and corporate sponsors; and
own neighborhoods. In short, there are no cookie-
                                                        school districts — are the hallmarks of every sus-
cutter solutions.
                                                        tainable effort.
     But there are centralized resources and networks
                                                             We hope that in reading about these real-
that localities interested in developing community
                                                        world examples, you will be encouraged to trans-
schools can turn to for help. Many communities, like
                                                        form your own schools into community schools. It
those profiled here, speed up implementation by
                                                        just makes sense.
adapting elements from a variety of community

Financing Community Schools
M      ost community school initiatives rely on a
       primary source of core funding to provide
a significant portion of their operating costs and
                                                            Service, or through federal-state programs,
                                                            such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance to
                                                            Needy Families);
ensure some degree of stability to their sites. There   •   state governments (e.g., through state-level
is, however, no single core funding stream for              initiatives such as Missouri’s Caring
community schools. This poses a continuing chal-            Communities, California’s Healthy Start,
lenge for community school advocates. Some                  Washington’s Readiness to Learn and New
potential sources of funding include:                       York’s Advantage Schools);
• local United Ways, community foundations,             •   local government (e.g., through local appro-
     national philanthropies and corporate funders;         priations as in New York City’s Beacons or
• federal government (e.g., through programs                through community development block
     with a particular focus on school and commu-           grants); and
     nity relationships, such as the 21st Century       •   local school system (e.g., through locally
     Community Learning Centers, Safe Schools/              appropriated funds or through the Title I or
     Healthy Students and Corporation for National          Safe and Drug Free School Program).

                                                        P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 5
                        COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROFILES
                                            Elementary Schools
Boston, Massachusetts                                          ists. A Parents Center hosts weekly coffees and
THOMAS GARDNER EXTENDED SERVICES SCHOOL                        workshops on various topics such as immigration
The Allston-Brighton neighborhood, home to                     clinics staffed by BC law students. ESL and parent-
Thomas Gardner Extended Services School (GESS),                ing skills classes, counseling, a full-time nurse, and
is among the most culturally and ethnically diverse            weekly “Power Lunches” with volunteers from the
in Boston. As many as 36 different languages are               business sector are among the services offered by
represented in the school’s K–6 student body, and              GESS and its partners to keep the doors of oppor-
over half of its 500 students are learning English as a        tunity open for students and families.
second language (ESL). Yet recent fourth-grade stu-
dent performance on Massachusetts’ state language              Greensboro, North Carolina
arts test catapulted GESS into the top 10 most                 HAMPTON YEAR ROUND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
improved schools in the state.                                 Hampton Elementary School, located in a high-
     According to Principal Catalina Montes, the               poverty neighborhood, is used to breaking the
school’s progress is tied closely to the efforts of an         mold — it operates on an unconventional year-
entire community, working in the school before,                round calendar. It also offers a full-day menu of
during and after school hours. Ten years ago, when             services, supports and opportunities through its
a Boston College (BC) faculty member visited                   Bridges to Success program, a collaborative effort
Gardner as part of a research study, Montes made               of the school district and the United Way of
the professor promise to stay involved. “You can’t             Greater Greensboro. School starts at 7:30 a.m. with
leave,” she said. “We need you.” Eventually, a                 breakfast. Throughout the year, nearly 200 students
close partnership among Gardner; BC; the local                 participate in after-school science, computer, art
YMCA, which serves the important role of fiscal                and recycling clubs, guided by teachers who volun-
agent; and the Healthy Boston Coalition developed              teer as advisors. Fourth graders participate in a
                                                               weeklong Leadership Academy. On Saturdays, a
I’ve lear ned that commitment and hard                         Book and Breakfast Club attracts families.
work aren’t always enough. I tr uly                                  The partnership has helped eliminate inade-
believe it takes the ef fort and good will                     quate health care as a barrier to learning. With the
of the entire community to help all our                        assistance of the United Way, the school’s full-time
children succeed.                                              nurse arranges dental, health and vision screening
                               — Catalina Montes, principal,
                    Thomas Gardner Extended Ser vices School   and transportation to outside services. Attendance
                                                               rates have increased and now stand at 94 percent.
into GESS. GESS is part of the Children’s Aid                  Parent participation and children’s academic per-
Society community schools adaptation network                   formance also have improved. Average scores on
and receives support from the Wallace-Reader’s                 state reading, writing and math tests for students in
Digest Fund.                                                   grades 3–5 increased from 1997 to 1998. In recog-
     BC graduate and undergraduate students, as                nition of the increases, the school was awarded
well as faculty, work at the school daily. Before-             state “Exemplary School” status.
school breakfast and after-school tutorial programs                  Last year, the United Way funded a series
are staffed by certified teachers, with BC students            of school visits by members of the Greensboro
working as mentors and tutors individually with                Symphony to introduce third graders to orchestral
GESS students. To make sure school-day and after-              music and participate in miniconcerts. Encouraged
school learning is connected, after-school teachers            by the children’s enthusiastic response, the orchestra
regularly visit the day program as classroom special-          sought additional resources. This year, 12 highly

                       COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROFILES
                                         Elementary Schools
motivated students selected by the school will be        St. Louis Park students who ranked about average
given the opportunity to study a string instrument       when they first took the survey now have assets
for three years. Those who stay with their lessons       that place them in the top 15 percent of participat-
will be invited to join the orchestra’s junior string    ing schools nationwide.
                                                         Wichita, Kansas
St. Louis Park, Minnesota                                STANLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
AQUILA PRIMARY SCHOOL                                    Designed as a “community haven,” Stanley
“Things are happening here I’ve never seen any-          Elementary School is generally open and in use
where,” says Rob Metz, principal at Aquila Primary       from 7 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
School. Part of what he’s referring to is Aquila and     Stanley is a Communities in Schools, Inc. (CIS) site
Cedar Manor Together (ACT), a partnership                that houses substations of the city’s departments of
among his school, nearby Cedar Manor Inter-              Health, Human Resources, Parks and Recreation.
mediate School and Jewish Family Services. Funded        Stanley’s services are the most widely used in the
by state, county and district funds and nurtured by      city: Twenty-three repositioned personnel provide
the school district’s Community Education pro-           support services to CIS students and families each
gram, ACT brings together social workers, psychol-       semester. Services are provided using funds from
ogists, family support workers and volunteers to         the federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for
help families organize their lives so that their chil-   Women, Infants and Children. There also is an
dren do better academically. ACT team members            on-site city/school district library and a senior
visit every classroom every week to talk about diffi-    service center.
cult but important topics — like good touch/bad               Evenings and weekends, the school hosts col-
touch or loss and grief. Team members spend much         lege classes, community programs and recreation for
of their time in the community working with fami-        adults. At weekly Family Learning nights, parents
lies to keep their children in school and excelling.     come to Stanley with their children. Adults take part
      Thirty children from Aquila end their day at       in English as a second language and other literacy
Kids Café, an after-school program located and run       activities. Their school-age children study with read-
by a not-for-profit agency two miles away. Some          ing tutors while preschoolers play together in child
of the children who participate live there in a resi-    care provided with Title I funds. Participants from
dential program with their mothers, who are in           Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA, a branch
drug treatment or on parole. Other participants are      of the Corporation for National Service Americorps
children who would be unsupervised in the after-         program) work with the CIS site coordinator to
noon for other reasons. The children do home-            organize literacy activities, raise funds and promote
work, play and learn how to be a family. Every           community service.
day, the children and their mothers work in teams             Partnerships with Washburn University and the
under the watchful eye of a professional chef, plan-     Yamaha Corporation have introduced astronomy
ning, preparing and serving a sit-down meal.             and keyboard-based music instruction into the cur-
Activities such as these help children acquire           riculum. Stanley’s third-grade teachers are working
“developmental assets” that all youth need to grow       with a local arts group to integrate classroom lan-
up healthy, competent and caring. The St. Louis          guage arts into a musical production of the Pied
Park community has embraced the framework                Piper tale. Extended-day tutoring and mentoring is
designed by the Search Institute, which evaluates        provided by 45 volunteers including local college
such assets. A Search Institute analysis shows that      students, foster grandparents, and Big Brothers and

                                                         P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 7
                         COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROFILES
                                                    Middle Schools
Big Sisters program participants. Program measures                 types. Youth Empower, a group of 13–16 year
show positive impact. Students involved in CIS                     olds, has developed a series of workshops and
activities improved their 1999 reading scores by 21                interactive presentations to help adults learn to
percentile rank points — up from six points the year               work effectively with youth, build ethnic and cul-
before. Ninety-five percent of all students were pro-              tural awareness, and help youth develop their own
moted to the next grade.                                           leadership skills. Course content comes directly
                                                                   from the students’ own insight, reflection and
Denver, Colorado                                                   growing tolerance. Youth Empower has been
LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL                                                 invited to work with groups throughout the
The Beacon Neighborhood Center at Lake                             Denver area. The students made presentations at
Middle School in Denver, Colo., sees itself as “a                  the Promise Colorado Conference in fall 1999 and
grassroots effort to promote youth development                     Youth Speak 2000 in Grand Junction, Colo.
and community building.” With core funding
from the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund and addi-                    San Diego, California
tional local support, it brings education, recreation              O’FARRELL COMMUNITY     SCHOOL FOR ADVANCED
and leadership experiences to students attending                   ACADEMIC STUDIES
Lake Middle School. It also serves students from                   A decade ago, a group of teachers and parents came
surrounding elementary and high schools and pro-                   together to turn a long-vacant San Diego school
vides continuing education and training to parents                 building into a new kind of public middle school. It
and neighborhood adults. Lake Beacons is man-                      was based on a clear philosophy: All children in the
aged by Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, a                       proper environment can learn at advanced levels.
nonprofit organization that helps Latina women                     Teachers would assume responsibility for children’s
and others become self-sufficient.                                 learning, make major decisions with a CEO rather
                                                                   than a principal and share in the school’s administra-
… it made me feel really good that a
                                                                   tive work. Convinced that children need to be
professional potter with her talent told
                                                                   emotionally and physically healthy to do their best,
me my piece was very creative .... This
                                                                   the school staff decided to dedicate a wing of the
project allowed all of us to per form to
                                                                   building to house community partners who could
the extreme!
             — 7th-grade boy’s writing por tfolio essay, Winburn
                                                                   help meet their students’ physical, social and emo-
                           Middle School, Lexington, Kentucky      tional needs.
     Activities for middle and high school students                      Today, O’Farrell Community School for
combine enrichment with leadership and employ-                     Advanced Academic Studies serves 1,500 sixth-
ment preparation. Students with experience in the                  through eighth-grade students. With support from
program and good grades can apply for paid posi-                   the county, the school’s discretionary budget, state
tions at the center. Students run the reception                    Healthy Start funding and other sources, the Family
area, assist in center programs, and participate in                Support Service (FSS) Wing is up and running 12
weekly leadership development and staff meetings.                  hours a day. Family advocates see over 500 children
More than 60 students have progressed through                      and families a year and have been able to document
some or all levels of responsibility, including                    — through fewer absences, fewer detentions and
supervision of other youth staff.                                  other indicators — measurable improvement in fam-
     Teens also are teaching adults how to explore                 ily stability and student outcomes. While enrich-
issues surrounding cultural diversity — especially                 ment, recreation and support services are important
by recognizing and getting past negative stereo-                   components at O’Farrell Community School, the

                        COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROFILES
                                   Middle and High Schools
FSS Wing stresses that academics come first.            dents in the neighborhood are eligible to receive
     Parents and community members are involved         health services at the school clinic — and parents
closely in the school and in their own learning. A      and community members play a major role in
Head Start program run by a neighborhood organi-        Caring Communities’ content and direction.
zation conducts parenting classes on site — in
                                                        Our community partnerships provide so
Spanish and English. An employment preparation
                                                        many resources here on site. They’re
program includes classes in budgeting, resume writ-
                                                        there as soon as you need them.
ing and interviewing. And a thrift store on campus                      — Mar y Long, principal, Van Horn High School,
offers a career clothing section, as well as a large                                               Kansas City, Missouri

selection of family apparel, dry and canned food,       Strong community involvement also has led to the
furniture, and appliances.                              creation of a 501(c)(3) community development
                                                        organization enabling the community to seek new
Kansas City, Missouri                                   revenue sources and expand its agenda.
In the 1970s, the bottom fell out of the neighbor-      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
hood surrounding Van Horn High School. Families         UNIVERSITY CITY HIGH SCHOOL
moved out, and housing values plummeted as the          University City High School (UCHS) is just one
school district experienced court-ordered desegre-      of 13 West Philadelphia schools where the West
gation. Local children were bused throughout the        Philadelphia Improvement Corps (WEPIC)
Kansas City school district, and when they              approach is making a difference. Drawing on the
returned home each afternoon, there were no             resources of universities and surrounding commu-
parks, Boys Clubs, YMCAs or other positive              nities, WEPIC partnerships develop deep, rich and
opportunities in their own neighborhood.                thematically related learning experiences that con-
     By the mid-1990s, things had begun to              nect academic exploration, community service and
change. Through the efforts of a grassroots coali-      community revitalization. In one joint learning
tion of local community members and the Kansas          experience, University of Pennsylvania and high
City School District, Van Horn became the site of       school students teamed up with former residents of
Caring Communities, a statewide initiative. A           a neighborhood displaced by urban renewal in the
School/Neighborhood Advisory Committee                  1950s and 1960s, known as Black Bottom. Working
including parents, neighborhood residents and Van       together, participants explored interviewing tech-
Horn school staff decide what they want for their       niques, personal recollections and the performing
community. Van Horn now boasts a year-round             arts as a means to study history. The project cul-
health clinic, family service social workers and a      minated in a series of “Black Bottom Sketches,”
job developer. Strong partnerships with community       written and performed by students and commu-
agencies have brought extracurricular activities to     nity members.
the school for the first time in years. Students pro-        Themes based on environmental planning,
duce a school paper and yearbook; participate in        health and nutrition, and literacy developed at sev-
debate teams, multicultural clubs and sports; and       eral elementary and middle school feeder schools
take advantage of mentoring and tutoring help.          also have been extended and adapted at the high
     While Van Horn provides an operational hub,        school level. For example, a university nutrition
activities reach far beyond the school to help create   class studying food supply, control and usage helped
families and neighborhoods that are safe, supportive    younger students learn about nutrition, analyze their
and engaged. Not just school students but all resi-     own eating patterns and create a student-run fruit

                                                        P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 9
                        COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROFILES
                                                  High Schools
bar. At the high school level, the focus shifted from                Community members have long taken owner-
studying consumption to learning about alternative             ship of education and schooling issues. As part of a
production techniques and managing a business.                 recent planning effort facilitated by the Institute for
      WEPIC at UCHS is focused particularly on                 Responsive Education, teams of residents learned
strengthening students’ school-to-work opportuni-              that the district’s main priority was helping students
ties. WEPIC, the University of Pennsylvania and                develop competencies in “the basics,” defined by
other community partners have developed a wide                 this community as technology, school-to-work,
variety of paid internships and work experiences.              social and life skills.
UCHS is also home to the university’s newly cre-                     Flambeau students in grades 5–8 are develop-
ated Skills Development Center. The center helps               ing social and academic skills through the Youth
students, as well as underemployed and unem-                   Connections Program (YCP), funded through a 21st
ployed adults, prepare for high-skill careers. In one          Century Community Learning Center grant. During
initiative, students are certified in fiber optic and          one experiential learning exercise, teams of students
copper cabling, provided internships with local                worked together to devise a plan for climbing over a
companies, and prepared to take local union                    fictitious fence of a daunting height. Afterward, stu-
apprentice exams.                                              dents analyzed and reflected upon the experience.
                                                               Flambeau staff and students at nearby Mount
Tony, Wisconsin (K–12)                                         Scenario College provide academic tutoring to YCP
FLAMBEAU SCHOOL                                                participants, every day of the week. Every other
Flambeau School has functioned as a community                  weekend, YCP organizes events for students and
center for rural Rusk County and the surrounding               their families. While students are off canoeing or
area for more than 50 years. During the regular                tubing, families attend parenting classes offered by
school-day hours, 670 students in prekindergarten              University of Wisconsin extension personnel.
through 12th grade attend the school. During the
evening and weekend hours, classes and activities
are offered to students and adults of all ages. The
geographical isolation of the school — it is the
only public building in a six-mile radius — is a key

Many participants had not previously
felt connected to the school, and the
program fosters a sense of belonging
much in the same way that sports does
for student athletes.
             — Dave Johnson, director of community education

factor that has shaped its evolution into a focal
point for lifelong learning and community activi-
ties. Approximately 15 years ago, the various edu-
cational programs and services became systematized
and formally connected with the district’s
Community Education program, with funding
from the school district.

      Following is information on some of the key community school
     networks across the country. Profiles of schools in other networks
       can be found at

ALLIANCE SCHOOLS                                        CARING COMMUNITIES
The Alliance Schools initiative, a partnership among    Caring Communities is the primary school-linked
the Texas Industrial Areas Foundation Network, the      support and services delivery strategy of the Missouri
Interfaith Education Fund and the Texas Education       Family Investment Trust, a state-level, public-private
Agency is a community-based strategy to increase        partnership. Community partnerships involving an
student achievement in low-income areas.                array of stakeholders, including parents, provide
Ernesto Cortes                                          leadership and support for local sites. Adaptations in
Texas Interfaith Education Fund                         18 communities and 115 schools are supported by
1106 Clayton Lane, Suite 120W                           funds pooled across seven state agencies.
Austin, TX 78723                                        Steve Milburn
(512) 459-6551                                          Missouri Family Investment Trust
                                                        3915 West Pine Boulevard
BEACONS                                                 St. Louis, MO 63108
The Beacons approach is an integrated strategy to       (314) 531-5505
both engage young people and strengthen neighbor-
hoods. Since 1995, the Youth Development Institute      CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY (CAS) COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
at the Fund for the City of New York has promoted       The CAS approach developed out of a partnership
adaptation of school-community collaborations simi-     involving the Children’s Aid Society, the New York
lar to the New York Beacons in Denver; Minneapolis;     City Board of Education, a local school district
Oakland, Calif.; and Savannah, Ga. Beacons also         and participating agencies. Through community
operate in San Francisco.                               alliances, this model broadens the school’s mission
Sharon DuPree                                           to bring in parents, teachers and the community as
Youth Development Institute                             full partners. In 1995, CAS opened a Technical
Fund for the City of New York                           Assistance Center to help other communities adapt
121 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor                   this model.
New York, NY 10013                                      Jane Quinn
(212) 925-6675                                          Children’s Aid Society                                            105 East 22nd Street
                                                        New York, NY 10010
                                                        (212) 949-4954

                                                       P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 1 1

COMMUNITY EDUCATION                                     HEALTHY START
Community Education promotes parent and commu-          Healthy Start, which grew out of legislation passed
nity involvement in public education, the formation     in 1991 by the California Legislature, is one of the
of community partnerships to address community          largest school-linked services initiatives. Local col-
needs and the expansion of lifelong learning opportu-   laboratives develop and institutionalize more effec-
nities. Community educators come together under         tive school-linked service delivery systems.
the leadership of the National Community                Lisa Villarreal
Education Association (NCEA). NCEA works in             UCD/Education CRESS Center
close collaboration with the National Center for        Davis, CA 95616
Community Education, which provides leadership          (530) 754-4307
training and technical assistance.            
Starla Jewell-Kelly
National Community Education Association                READINESS TO LEARN INITIATIVE
3929 Old Lee Highway                                    This program authorizes grants to local school-
Suite 91-A                                              linked, community-based consortia to develop and
Fairfax, VA 22030                                       implement strategies that ensure children arrive at
(703) 359-8973                                          school every day “ready to learn.” Activities are                                            family oriented, culturally relevant, coordinated,
Jill Waters                                             locally planned, outcome based, creative, preventive
National Center for Community Education                 and customer service oriented.
1017 Avon Street                                        Chris McElroy
Flint, MI 48503                                         Washington State Readiness to Learn Initiative
(810) 238-0463                                          Old Capital Building – P.O. Box 47200                                         Olympia, WA 98504-7200
                                                        (360) 753-6760
Communities in Schools, Inc. helps localities develop   SCHOOL-BASED YOUTH SERVICES PROGRAM
not-for-profit 501(c)(3) boards, which identify and     Developed by the New Jersey Department of
broker resources to support children and families in    Human Resources in 1987, this was the first major
schools. CIS operates in more than 1,500 schools in     state program that gave grants to community agen-
243 school districts across the country, with state     cies to link education and human services, health,
and local programs in 33 states.                        and employment systems. The “one-stop” program
Tom Wilson                                              has been initiated by schools and community agency
Communities in Schools, Inc.                            partners in 30 school districts.
1199 North Fairfax Street, 3rd Floor                    Kay Reiss
Alexandria, VA 22314-1436                               New Jersey School-Based Youth Services Program
(703) 518-2564                                          New Jersey Department of Human Services                                          P.O. Box 700
                                                        Trenton, NJ 08625
                                                        (609) 292-1617


This school-based child care and family support          WEPIC’s mission is to build university-assisted com-
approach promotes the optimal growth and devel-          munity schools. WEPIC partnerships between uni-
opment of children ages 0–12. The 21C model’s            versities and local schools are designed to revitalize
goal is to transform the school into a year-round,       both school curricula and local neighborhoods
multiservice center providing services from early        through community-oriented, real-world problem
morning to early evening.                                solving. Ten institutions of higher education are
Jennifer McGrady Heath                                   now part of the WEPIC network.
The School of the 21st Century                           Joann Weeks
The Yale University Bush Center                          WEPIC Replication Project
310 Prospect Street                                      University of Pennsylvania
New Haven, CT 06511                                      3440 Market Street, Suite 440
(203) 432-9944                                           Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325                                        (215) 898-0240
Developed by the United Way of Central Indiana,
this initiative is being adapted in seven communities
through the leadership of local United Ways. Many
other local United Ways are involved with a variety
of community school approaches and serve as cata-
lysts for new initiatives.
Sheri DeBoe Johnson
United Way
701 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2045
(703) 836-7112 ext. 250

                                                        P A RT N E R S H I P S F O R E X C E L L E N C E 1 3
                    COALITION FOR
                  COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
         Strengthening schools, families and communities

               T     he Coalition for Community Schools mobilizes the
                     resources and capacity of multiple sectors and institutions
               to create a united movement for community schools. We bring
               together local, state and national organizations that represent
               individuals and groups engaged in creating and sustaining com-
               munity schools, including: parents, youth, community resi-
               dents, teachers, principals, school superintendents and boards,
               youth development and community-based organizations,
               health and human services agencies, faith-based organizations,
               neighborhood associations, civic groups, higher education,
               business, government, and private funders. The Coalition dis-
               seminates information, connects people and resources, and
               educates the general public.
                    The Community Schools Public Education Campaign is
               one of the key activities of the Coalition. Sponsored by the
               Children’s Aid Society, the Coalition for Community
               Schools and the Ad Council of America, the goal of the ad
               campaign is to build awareness of and support for the com-
               munity school approach to public education. Campaign
               resources include television, radio and print ads.
                    To order free copies of this document and learn more
               about the Coalition, contact:

               Martin J. Blank, Staff Director
               Coalition for Community Schools
               c/o Institute for Educational Leadership
               1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 310
               Washington, DC 20036
               Telephone: (202) 822-8405 ext. 45
               Fax: (202) 872-4050 Email:

    The Coalition appreciates the generous support of the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund,
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. We are grateful to
          Atelia Melaville for writing this document and Laura Samberg for editing it.
                      COALITION FOR
                    COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
                                  Steering Committee

Center for Community Partnerships,             United Way of America
University of Pennsylvania
                                               KAREN MAPP
DORIS BAYLOR                                   Institute for Responsive Education
Minneapolis YMCA
                                               EVERETT NANCE
CYNTHIA BROWN                                  University of Missouri, St. Louis
Council of Chief State School Officers
                                               LAURA PIRES-HESTER
JOAN BUCKLEY                                   Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund
American Federation of Teachers
                                               GORDON RALEY
JAY SCHENIRER                                  National Collaboration for Youth
Foundation Consortium
                                               KAY REISS
PHIL COLTOFF                                   New Jersey School-Based
The Children’s Aid Society                     Youth Services Program

SALLY COVINGTON                                PEGGY SPARKS
National Center for Schools and Communities    Birmingham Public Schools

JOY DRYFOOS                                    GERALD TIROZZI
Independent Researcher                         National Association of
                                               Secondary School Principals
Fund for the City of New York                  LISA VILLARREAL
                                               California Center for
JILL WATERS                                    Community-School Partnerships
National Center for Community Education
                                               MARTIN J. BLANK
STARLA JEWELL-KELLY                            Staff Director,
National Community Education Association       Coalition for Community Schools
                        Community schools create opportunities
                        for self-expression that students are hungry
                        for. As one middle school student wrote in
                        an after-school creative writing group, “The
                        way I want to express myself is in every
                        way, in every shape, in every motion, like
                        wind blowing through the trees.”

                                   Coalition for Community Schools
                                c/o Institute for Educational Leadership
                               1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 310
                                         Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 822-8405 ext. 45 Fax: (202) 872-4050 Email:

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