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10th Annual Community Schools Forum such a success!

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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!

Community Schools Map

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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Federation members get access to our weekly eDigest which contains information about upcoming events, best practices, funding opportunities and much more.

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Building Community through Twitter

Telling the Story of Community Schools... in 140 Characters or Less!
Next session: Tuesday, February 24
Through a partnership with Community Media Workshop and the Community Schools Initiative at CPS, the Federation is offering a two-part trainings series to empower community school practitioners to use social media to tell the story of the amazing things happening in our community schools - as well as the important things that still need to happen. This unique training opportunity is for Resource Coordinators, Parent Coordinators, Lead Partner Agency Supervisors and anyone else interested in helping spread the word about the importance of community schools. 

This training is designed for the beginning to intermediate social media user.  Previous experience with Twitter is not required.

Space will be limited for each session to ensure individualized training and support for participants.

Ideas for Using Twitter to Build Community

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Recap: Community Schools 101

On Monday, February 9th nearly 50 community school professionals gathered to learn strategies for laying a solid community school foundation that supports long-term success and sustainability.

If you were able to join us, please don't forget to complete this brief evaluation. Your feedback helps us continually refine and improve our workshops.
Those who were unable to attend can read more below to find some of the tools and resources that were shared.

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Recap: PARCC Preview Session for Community Schools & Partner Organizations

On January 15, 2015 the Federation partnered with Dr. Barbara Radner from the Polk Bros. Foundation Center for Urban Education at DePaul University to offer the PARCC Preview for Community Schools and Partner Organization. This orientation to PARCC provided partner organizations with an understanding of PARCC and how they can support student achievement on this new standardized assessment.

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Thanks for Joining Us for Our 10th Annual Community Schools Forum!

On November 14, 2014 we held our 10th Annual Community Schools Forum, Harnessing the Power of Partnership to Promote Equity through Community Schools. This year's event brought together nearly 300 community school practitioners - from California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin - who came to learn from each other and from experts in their fields about the ways community schools can and should be equity drivers. Through 30 workshops, a plenary panel, recognition of outstanding community school leaders and opportunities to participate in advocacy efforts, including demonstrating support for community schools on social media, we worked together to enhance and strengthen our collective community school efforts. Thank you to all of our presenters, planners, and supporters for helping to make the day so successful!

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Community School Leaders Honored at Annual Forum

2014 marked an important year for the community schools movement, in Chicago, Illinois, and across the country. In November, the Federation held its 10th annual Community Schools Forum. On this occasion we wanted to recognize and celebrate some of our strongest leaders who have made important and indelible impacts on the community schools movement in Illinois and nationally. Over the years, we've benefited from the leadership of community school trailblazers: innovative leaders who have tirelessly forged a path forward, despite funding and policy challenges, to ensure children and families can access the supports they need to succeed. In 2014 we also saw Illinois' very own Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) step forward to champion community schools by co-sponsoring the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014. And, of course, we once again celebrate the leaders in our communities who, day-in and day-out, play a vital role in shepherding a shared vision of student success amongst all stakeholders.
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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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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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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.