Save-the-Date: Annual Community Schools Forum!
The Power of Us: Community School Partnerships and Success for All
Thursday, November 10, 2016
On November 10, 2016 the Federation for Community Schools will host the 12th annual Community Schools Forum. This year's theme is The Power of Us: Community School Partnerships and Success for All.
- Aligning programming to academic goals
- Forging stronger community connections and partnerships
- Building relationships between schools and families
- Using afterschool program quality standards in community schools
- The role of community schools in comprehensive positive youth development.
Looking for something from last year...?
Each of the 7 winners, which include both individual schools and multi-site community initiatives, brings a unique story of success. Organized to respond to local conditions, these awardees are tackling some of today's most pressing issues that influence young people's development - poverty, safety, and equitable access to opportunities. They demonstrate how public schools can become community hubs that bring together educators, families, and community partners to offer a range of opportunities and supports to families, communities, and young people.
John Hancock College Preparatory High School in Chicago was an award recipient. Through its partnership with Youth Guidance, Hancock has increased its social-emotional support for students, through programs like Becoming A Man (BAM), as well as enrichment opportunities that enable students to exercise leadership skills. It is paying off in the form of attendance rates increasing from 70 percent in 2010 to 90% last year, decreased dropout rates, and the five-year graduation rate improving by 20%. All their efforts combined have led to academic gains and a positive school climate and culture.
Click here to learn more about the National Community Schools Awards for Excellence and additional awardees.
On April 24 a bus load of 75 parents, teachers, funders and elected officials from Wisconsin arrived at Shields Middle School, in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood. They were there to learn about community schools and see for themselves how community school partnerships like the one between Shields and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) address the holistic needs of the children and families they serve. The site visit, co-hosted by the Federation and CPS' Community Schools Initiative, was designed to provide a wide range of stakeholders with an understanding of the key functions of a community school and strategies for supporting community school implementation in their own communities. Participants included representatives from from United Way of Racine County, United Way of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Teachers Union, Madison School District, and Wisconsin Jobs Now.
|Mr. Auffant, principal, demonstrates "a day in the life" of a Shields community school student|
Participants also heard from Mandee Polonsky, Senior Director, Community Impact at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago about their commitment to community schools and the impact they are seeing, including ways that the United Way is measuring impact and why they've taken the approach to invest in networking and aligning supports within communities. Missy Carpenter, Director of Community Schools for Y.O.U. in Evanston, IL also talked about what this work can look like in a suburban community and shared insight about strategically scaling-up an initiative. She also reinforced that community school work is not a program or even a series of programs - it is a strategy, and a way to change the way systems and people work together to support students.
Prior to setting off for Chicago, two participants, Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee), unveiled legislation that would facilitate the creation of "Community Schools" in their local public school districts. Click here to learn more or read a copy of the bill.