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Community Schools
in Action

Every community school looks slightly different, because it is developed through mutually beneficial partnerships with students, families, community agencies, businesses, and residents that are unique to that community.

Check out these
community school profiles to learn more about the powerful community school work of one district and two schools in Illinois.

You can also view these videos to really see community schools in action!

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There are nearly 200 community schools in urban, surburban, and rural communities all over Illinois. Click on the interactive map to learn more about community schools in your area.  

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Lights. Camera. VOTE!

Vote for your favorite "My Community School Is Awesome" video entry today.

Election Day is over and you just might need a little pick-me-up, so head over to our Facebook page, watch some awesome community school videos, and cast one more vote for your favorite.

The poll will be open until Thursday, November 13 at noon.

The winner will be announced at our upcoming Community Schools Forum.

Many thanks to the teams at Wendell Smith and Dore Elementary for embracing this video challenge -- and knocking it out of the park!


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10th Annual Community Schools Forum!

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Three Champaign Elementary Schools to Adopt Community School Model

On September 8 the board of the Unit 4 School District, which serves 9,600 students in Champaign, IL, approved plans to begin implementing the community school model at three elementary schools.

Community and district leaders believe the community school model will enable Champaign schools to fulfill a 2001 consent decree to promote racial equality and excellence in education at schools in the northern zone of Champaign. The decree was reached after federal complaints were filed against the school district.
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Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) Introduces Full Service Community Schools Act of 2014

Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican representing Illinois' 18th Congressional District (Peoria, Quincy, Bloomington), joined forces with House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) to introduce the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014 (HR 5168). The bipartisan bill would create a competitive grant program to expand the number of full-service community schools around the nation.

The introduction of the Full Service Community Schools Act of 2014 in the House is only the beginning of the journey.  With ongoing collaboration from our members at the local and national level, including the Coalition for Community Schools, we encourage every community school supporter to use this action alert to connect with your Representative to urge them to co-sponsor this bill to support the Community Schools Act of 2014.

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Transition to Common Core Presents Challenges - and Opportunities - for Community Schools

Like almost every other state in the country, Illinois is making the shift to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The new standards are aimed at ensuring that children and young people develop necessary critical thinking, analytical, problem-solving, and learning skills, and are prepared to do increasingly rigorous academic work as their educational careers progress. As schools embark upon the huge task of transitioning to the CCSS, it is absolutely essential that community school partners take every opportunity to support students' mastery of these rigorous requirements during out-of-school time programming, and work to engage parents as partners in the transition.

Community schools and resource coordinators, in particular, have an important role to play in helping schools transition to the CCSS.  With generous support from The Boeing Company, the Federation has partnered with Dr. Barbara Radner from the Polk Bros. Foundation Center for Urban Education at DePaul University to educate our members about the CCSS.

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Decrease Chronic Absenteeism, Boost Student Engagement

Reducing chronic absence takes an entire community, so community schools have a special role to play. High average daily attendance rates often mask chronic absence problems amongst a subset of a school's student body. The first step to increasing attendance is better understanding what school data is telling us and why students are missing so much school so specific interventions can be used to mitigate challenges to attendance.

Chronic Absences & Community Schools
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Oakland Youth Create Animated Video About Community Schools

This animated video project on the role community schools can play in uplifting children and neighborhoods was created by Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) students in the Media Enterprise Alliance (MEA) journalism and multimedia program sponsored by OUSD's Communications Department and KDOLTV-27. 
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A community school is a public school that acts as the hub of its community by engaging community resources to help meet student, family, and community needs. Community schools offer a range of on-site programs and services that support the success of students and their families. Every community school looks different bceause each school works to meet the unique needs of its unique students, families, and community members. The fundamental goals -- success for all students and families -- remain the same.

The Future of Public Education: Community Schools brings to life the different components of a community school, and uses real-life examples to highlight the ways in which community schools throughout Illinois are impacting students, families, and the surrounding communities.
to see this player.