Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.

Building Community Schools

May 14, 2003 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Key Ingredients

“Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools,” by the Coalition for Community Schools, recommends “action steps” that officials should take when setting up community schools. Among them are:

  • Engage the community;
  • Use data to define desired results and drive decisionmaking;
  • Keep schools open before and after the regular school day and on weekends, all year long;
  • Build and rehabilitate school buildings to accommodate community school needs;
  • Incorporate the community into the curriculum as an explicit resource for learning and improved student achievement;
  • Train teachers and principals to find learning opportunities in the community;
  • Integrate in-school and after-school learning experiences;
  • Draw on youth-development expertise;
  • Create broad-based local coalitions to back such schools;
  • Create planning and decisionmaking teams at school sites;
  • Develop knowledge and understanding among partners and across disciplines;
  • Encourage colleges and universities to integrate training from such fields as education, public health, mental health, and social services;
  • Create “community school coordinator” positions;
  • Identify the lead partner for a community school with great care;
  • Organize district funding sources to support a plan for such schools;
  • Change public-financing policies to support community schools;
  • Organize private financing to support the schools; and
  • Provide technical assistance to bolster the development of community schools.

Examples in Action

The Coalition for Community Schools reviewed the research on 20 community school initiatives throughout the country. The coalition examined these programs:

  • Children’s Aid Society, New York City
  • Communities in Schools, 32 states
  • New York City Beacons
  • School of the 21st Century, 20 states
  • California Healthy Start, 49 counties
  • Illinois Project Success, 89 counties
  • Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Program, statewide
  • New Jersey School-Based Youth Services Program, statewide
  • Texas Alliance Schools, 20 school districts
  • Washington Readiness to Learn, 24 grantees across the state
  • Ohio Urban School Initiative School-Age Child Care Project, 17 school districts
  • Achievement Plus, three schools in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Boston Excels, five schools
  • Bridges to Success, Indianapolis, 41 schools
  • Center for School Change Initiative, 20 rural sites in Minnesota
  • Dallas Youth and Family Centers Program, nine locations
  • Hamilton County (Ohio) Families and Children First Council, 12 schools
  • L.A.'s BEST After-School Enrichment Program, 69 sites
  • Polk Brothers Full-Service School Initiative, three schools in Chicago
  • Schools Uniting Neighborhoods, 15 schools in Portland and Multnomah County, Ore.

Related Tags:


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week