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.  
 

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

View previous editions by clicking here.




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Stakeholder Symposium: Making Sense of the Dollars and Cents


Are you confused by all the talk about budget cuts and efforts to change the revenue generating structure in Illinois?  Not sure how all this impacts your community school programs? 

On April 17, 2014 we will be convening a conversation for community school practitioners and stakeholders focused on making sense of Illinois' fiscal situation, how we got to this point, and how we can work together to make things different in the future. The Symposium, Making Sense of the Dollars and Cents: Understanding Illinois' budget, the impacts on our work, and opportunities for change, will feature state experts and policymakers who will breakdown the issues in an easy to understand way and guided conversation about what we can do collectively to work with legislators, policymakers, and our own stakeholders to make positive changes.


Participants will also learn about our upcoming Advocacy Day in Springfield on April 30th where we will join forces with the United Way and others to raise awareness about community schools.  This Symposium is intended for those are already engaged in advocacy efforts around the state’s budget as well as those who are new to advocacy but want to understand how to stand up for the valuable programs we offer students and families in our communities.

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Community Schools Advocacy Day - April 30, 2014

The state budget situation is a mess. Critical funding that community schools rely on is in jeopardy. Many of our communities are being put under increasing stress, and support for programs and resources people need is eroding.

That's why we're taking our case to Springfield on April 30th!  We're partnering with the United Way to spend a day in Springfield educating elected officials and policymakers about community schools and the funding they rely on to achieve their goals. The most important people for legislators to hear from are you, the people living and working in their district. Consider joining us on April 30th and getting your stakeholders involved - to have parents and youth participate would be especially impactful.

Learn more about our Community Schools Advocacy Day and how you can get involved.


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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.  The students were not given a script, but instead created this video based on their lived experience of community schools. 
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Congressman Aaron Schock Cosponsors Community Schools Act

Congressman Aaron Schock, U.S. Representative for Illinois's 18th congressional district, became a cosponsor on the Supporting Community Schools Act in the House (HR 3873).  Rep. Schock has cosponsored Rep. Hoyer's Full Service Community Schools bill in the past and, as the first Republican cosponsor, is committed to doing so again this session. Much hard work, including that of Federation Board member Julie Schifeling and our partners at the national Coalition for Community Schools, went into educating Rep. Schock about community schools and securing his support.  Rep. Schock's district, which includes cities like Jacksonville, Peoria, and Springfield, is home to several community schools. 
 
It is important that we thank Rep. Schock for supporting the critical work of community schools. Please take two minutes to sign-on to a thank you letter for Rep. Schock to show your appreciation.

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Community Schools Featured on Chicago Tonight

WTTW's Chicago Tonight recently aired a segment on the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network (LUNN) in Chicago's Brighton Park community. The LUNN model integrates and concentrates education, income and health services in a single community and uses community schools as a primary infrastructure for delivering many critical supports to students and families. Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC), which was a founding partner in the development of the Federation for Community Schools, serves as the lead agency partners for UWMC's first Neighborhood Network. By creating a comprehensive network of support in Brighton Park, the initiative aims to drive life-changing results for entire families and the community. 
 
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Thank You for Joining Us at the Midwest Community Schools Forum

Thank you to everyone who joined us on November 14-15 for our 9th annual Midwest Community Schools Forum in Lisle, IL.  We are especially grateful to everyone who shared their experiences and expertise with Forum participants.  With your help, we are able to continue building a vibrant professional learning community dedicated to improving the quality of community schools and increasing outcomes for students and families.  As you can see, the Forum was filled with sharing, learning, networking, and some good old fashion fun!

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21st CCLC Funding in Jeopardy

21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants are a main source of support for community school efforts in Illinois.  21st CCLC funding provides expanded learning opportunities, enrichment, supports, and safety for more than 54,000 children and young people across Illinois – but this funding is in jeopardy. We face two main threats to continued availability of 21st CCLC funds for our work.

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Federation releases new data report

In late 2012, the Federation for Community Schools convened a data roundtable, comprised of community school practitioners, partners, and funders. The group’s goals were to use site-level and initiative-level information to identify what community school partners are measuring, what outcomes community schools are achieving, what data they use to demonstrate progress towards outcomes, how we can collectively use this data to make a case for community school support, and what practitioners wish they could access, track and measure. "Making an Impact: Community Schools in Illinois"  is the result of this work. 
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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.
 
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