Creating a Quality Community Schools District: Each Child College, Career & Community Ready

Community Schools

**Coalition for Community Schools. (n.d.). Community schools: Promoting student success. Washington, DC: Author. Available at http://www.communityschools.org/assets/1/AssetManager/CS_Results_Framework.pdf

This Coalition for Community Schools report builds the case for community schools as an important school reform strategy. Ideally, community schools support students and their families by addressing the non-academic factors that impact student performance, such as poverty, health, and family relationships. To improve the conditions for learning, community schools partner with other organizations and institutions to create comprehensive and supportive learning environments. The report includes a results framework that defines the desired short term and long term outcomes of community schools, including consistent attendance, family involvement, academic success, healthy students, and safe communities. Lastly, the report contains a set of indicators that can be used to determine the capacity of the school to serve as a community hub, a condition the authors deem critical in meeting the comprehensive needs of the students, parents, and community. 

Blank, M. J., Melaville, A., & Shah, B. P. (2003, May). Making the difference: Research and practice in community schools (pp. 15-31). Washington, DC: Coalition for Community Schools. Available at http://nationalcenterforcommunityschools.childrensaidsociety.org/system/files/making-the-difference.pdf

This chapter establishes five conditions for learning that the Coalition for Community Schools believes are necessary for every child to succeed. According to the Coalition, all students can achieve high levels of learning if 1) the school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, and high expectations for all students; 2) students are motivated and engaged in learning—both in school and in community settings; 3) the basic physical, mental, and emotional health needs of young people and their families are recognized and addressed; 4) mutual respect and effective collaboration take place among parents, families, and school staff; and 5) community engagement, together with school efforts, promote a school climate that is safe, supportive, and respectful and that connects students to a broader learning community.  The authors present the cross-discipline research base for each condition and explain how community schools can create each one.

**This document is considered a priority reading.