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Senator Carol Liu’s Pathways to Partnership: Community Schools Strategies in Action
What are Community Schools?
Community Schools strategies align the resources of the entire community to support student success and strengthen families and schools. In an era of limited revenue, the community schools concept fosters intentional collaborations among school districts; state, county and city government; non-profits; and business.
Rethinking Schools by the Coalition for Community Schools
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
- Children are ready to enter school
- Students attend school consistently
- Students are actively involved in learning and their community
- Families are increasingly involved with their children's education
- Schools are engaged with families and communities
- Students succeed academically
- Students are healthy - physically, socially, and emotionally
- Students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment
- Communities are desirable places to live.
Just like smart phones, community schools have an infrastructure or operating system that makes all the 'apps' work in a synchronized manner. A school-site leadership team, often comprised of educators, parents, community partners, and others, is responsible for creating a shared vision for the school, identifying desired results and helping align and integrate the work of partners with the school. A community school coordinator works hand-in-hand with the principal, and is a member of the school leadership team. The coordinator is responsible for building relationships with school staff and community partners, for engaging the families and community residents, and coordinator an efficient delivery of supports to students both inside and outside of the classroom, all day, every day. Data on academic AND non-academic factors drive the work for a community school. At the community level, local government agencies including county, city and school district leadership coordinate services and align resource delivery. Local non-profits, businesses and faith based organizations coordinate to align their efforts to support locally determined priorities and initiatives.
Pathways to Partnership - Community Schools Strategies in Action
In October of 2013, Senator Liu hosted a three-day tour of innovative cross-agency partnerships in California that use Community Schools strategies to produce dynamic impacts connecting students, parents and schools to local resources to help families and communities thrive. Click here to learn more about the communities and practices highlighted in the Community Schools tour.
Additional Community Schools Resources:
- Coalition for Community Schools: The Coalition for Community Schools is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks.
- Partnership for Children and Youth: The Partnership supports systems of collaboration, leadership and continuous learning among school districts, government agencies and community-based organization serving low-income children and youth; supporting community school, after school and summer partnerships through training, assessment, planning, policy and advocacy.
- National Center for Community Schools: The role of the National Center is to build the capacity of schools, districts, community partners and government agencies to organize their human and financial resources around student success.
- Cities, Counties, Schools Partnership: The CCS Partnership promotes innovative methods in solving health, social and financial issues in communities by maximizing economic and human resources through collaboration between CCS’s three partner organizations: the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and California Schools Boards Association