As the Community Schools movement continues to grow in Illinois and nationally, so does the body of research on community school programs. The research highlighted below provides background information on the formation of community schools and insights into the demonstrated impact that community school programs can have on children, families, schools, and communities. Check back often for the latest evaluations of what's working -- and lessons learned.
The Importance of After-School Programs in Education Reform Worldwide
The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, 2012
Eva L. Baker, President of the World Educational Research Association, describes after-school programs as essential to--and possibly the most effective strategy in--school reform.
Mid-Sized Urban America: Does Community School Add Value in a Primary School Setting?
Debra S. Rada and Chris M. Lucas, 2011
Current literature provides quantitative and qualitative longitudinal research demonstrating the effectiveness of full-service community schools (FSCS) in improving student achievement. These studies examined schools in major urban cities such as New York, Chicago, and Boston (Children’s Aid Society, 2006; Whalen, 2007). By localizing research to a Midwest school district with a mid-sized urban population, researchers can provide insights for other school districts of similar size and location. This qualitative, interpretive multiple case study explores perceptions from three stakeholder groups at two primary schools.
The Case for School-Based Integration of Services: Changing the Ways Students, Families and Communities Engage with Their Schools
Public/Private Ventures, 2009
A good education is key to helping young people grow into healthy, productive adults, but for disadvantaged, low-income youth and their families, poor health often interferes with low-income educations. Untreated hearing and vision problems as well as frequent sickness and absences can greatly reduce a young person's ability to get the most from school or life.
Choosing More Time for Students: The What, Why, and How of Extended Learning
Center for American Progress, August 2007
The expansion of learning time can serve as an effective vehicle to modernize our schools because it allows teachers, principals, community organizations and leaders, and parents to build multiple curriculums to best educate our children to succeed in the 21st century. To navigate through this forthcoming and thorough-going school reform effort, this paper will define what expanded learning time means, highlight what model programs look like when used effectively, and address how to successfully implement such reform efforts.
Three Years into Chicago's Community Schools Initiative (CSI) - Progress Challenges, and Emerging Issues
The University of Illinois at Chicago, March 2007
Since 2002, Sam Whalen, Ph.D., and his team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) have been conducting an evaluation of the Chicago Public School's Community Schools Initiative, a groundbreaking effort to take to scale the community school model.
Shared Features of High-Performing After-School Programs: A Follow-Up to the TASC Evaluation
Policy Studies Associates, Inc., November 2005
This report provides a comprehensive overview of factors found to be critical to participants in after-school programs with successful outcomes. Common features of high-performing programs include: an array of enrichment opportunities; opportunities for skill building; intentional relationship development; a strong leader supported by well-trained and well-supervised staff, and; broad support of the sponsoring organization. The report goes into detail about how these factors play out in actual programs.
Building More Effective Community Schools: A Guide to Key Ideas, Effective Approaches, and Technical Assistance Resources for Making Connections Cities and Site Teams
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for the Study of Public Policy, 2000
This report provides an overview of the necessary components of a community school, the needs that such programs can address, and the possible challenges faced in implementation of the community school model. The report includes a list of contacts in 22 cities for organizations that have provided technical assistance and program development activities to community school programs in their areas.