10th Annual
Community Schools Forum

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Harnessing the Power of Partnership to Promote Equity through Community Schools
Friday, November 14, 2014
Hilton Lisle/Naperville, Illinois


With a special focus on the ways in which community schools mitigate the barriers to learning presented by systemic racial and socioeconomic inequalities, our 10th Annual Community Schools Forum will offer attendees the tools, strategies, research, and inspiration to enhance your community school efforts.  Whether you’re new and seek strategies to help lay a solid foundation upon which to build a quality community school or have been involved in this work for many years and seek ways to reinvigorate and deepen your work, this conference is for you. 

2014 marks a milestone for the Federation: our 10th annual Community Schools Forum.  To celebrate 10 years of community school practitioners and supporters coming together to enhance our work, we will reflect on how far we’ve come, celebrate the leaders who have helped us get here, and strengthen our efforts to increase public support for community schools in the future.

Who should attend
The Forum will offer learning opportunities for everyone involved in making community schools successful, including:
  • Resource coordinators
  • Partner organizations
  • School principals and  administrators
  • Afterschool program providers
  • Parents / parent organizers
  • Teachers
  • School social workers
  • Advocates
  • Funders

The Forum will offer workshops for practitioners from a variety of community school settings, including urban, rural, and suburban communities as well as those working at elementary, middle, and high schools

Present at the Forum
Community school practitioners and partners wishing to share innovative and promising practices that support the learning and social-emotional development of all students are encouraged to submit a workshop proposal. The Forum Planning Committee has identified the following community school strategies and topics we would like to highlight at this year's Forum.   

  • Out-of-school time learning linked to real world experiences, particularly at the middle and HS levels
  • Using data to inform programming decisions and create greater educational equality
  • Coordinating health resources for students and families
  • Strategies for engaging HS students in community school development and programming
  • Strong data collection, analysis, and reporting processes
  • Lead partner organization restructuring to support community schools efforts
  • Strategies for empowering communities to engage in community school development
  • Strategies for engaging communities to advance policies that support community schools
If you and your community school team are strong in any of these areas, please consider submitting a workshop proposal. Please note that we welcome proposals on topics other than those listed above and would be happy to talk with you about your proposal before you submit it. Workshop proposals are due on Monday, September 15

Scope of Topics
The Forum will offer participants with a variety of learning opportunities aimed at deepening practitioners’ understanding of the role community schools have in addressing the opportunity gap and increasing equitable access to a quality education for students and families.  Participants will also learn how and why we must all work together to increase understanding of and support for the critical work of community schools. 

Please review Present at the Forum if you are interested in submitting a workshop proposal

Through a mixture of workshops, panels, and plenary sessions, participants will have the opportunity to learn about topics* such as:

Program Quality:  Assessing OST program quality, data-informed decision making, Common Core alignment, individualized pupil education plans, and chronic absenteeism.
Community Engagement:  Parent engagement strategies, advisory board development, community organizing skills, volunteer outreach and management, and connections to early childhood programs.
Advocacy:  Crafting your message, government 101, and Federation advocacy opportunities.
Physical / Mental Health:  Trauma-informed practices, supporting pregnant and parenting youth, classroom management, and peace circles.
Expanded-Learning Opportunities:  Youth civic engagement, arts education, Pathways programming, college and career support, and real world learning opportunities.
Management:  Budgeting and sustainability, staff training and management, and self-care.
* Please note that this is only a preliminary list of topics; more details will be forthcoming this summer.


2013 Community Schools Forum Overview
2013 Community Schools Forum Workshop Materials

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Thank you for the support of our funders and sponsors!  Their support allows us to keep the costs for this event low - enabling more schools and non-profits to participate.  Become a sponsor!