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What is a Community School Partnership?

General

In a community school, youth, families and community residents work as equal partners with schools and other community institutions to develop and tailor programs and services for that community.

THIS INFORMATION IS FROM ON THE COALITION FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS FAQS ABOUT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS.

In a community school, youth, families and community residents work as equal partners with schools and other community institutions to develop programs and services in five areas:

  • Quality education – High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community’s assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
  • Youth development - Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
  • Family support – Family resource centers, early childhood development programs, coordinated health, mental health and social services, counseling, and other supports enhance family life by building upon individuals’ strengths and skills.
  • Family and community engagement – Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
  • Community development – All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.

The array of specific services that individual community schools offer varies extensively by site. An analysis by the Coalition for Community Schools shows activity in the following areas:

  • Adult Education
  • After School
  • Community Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Early Childhood Services
  • Family Involvement
  • Family Support
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Youth Development

Too many schools have services in these various areas but no plan for how to integrate those services to achieve specific results. A coherent plan is essential for a successful community school.

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