A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Check out these community school profiles to learn more about the powerful community school work of one district and two schools in Illinois.
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
The Community School Model
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.
The community school model is often characterized by these four components:
Partnership between the school and at least one community-based organization;
Development of an advisory board with broad representation from the community;
Programs and services that support the whole child and are aligned to classroom learning, and;
A full-time community school director or coordinator to manage all out-of-school time activities.
The Federation, through its work, input, and thought leadership, has identified the Community School Parthenon as a way to organize and depict community school work. Structured into community school programming pillars (ACADEMIC, HEALTH, FAMILY, and COMMUNITY) and implementation foundation bricks (Shared Leadership, Data-driven Decision Making, Broader Opportunities, Leveraged Resources, Integrated Learning, Partnership, Collaboration, and Shared Vision), the Parthenon provides a "road map" for community school transformation.
For more information...
Click here for a map of the community schools in Illinois.
Click here to access resource to support community school developmention
of our Web site and check out The Guide to Community School Transformation and other tools that schools, communities, and parents can use to drive community school developmincluding the Guide to Community School Transformation and other tools that schools, communities, and parents can use to drive community school development.
Click here to hear United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk about community schools.