Sunday, July 26, 2009

community school

A community school is a public school that acts as the hub of its community by engaging community resources to offer a range of on-site programs and services that support the success of students and their families.  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:

1.  Partnership between the school and at least one community-based organization; 
2.  Development of an advisory board with broad representation from the community; 
3.  Programs and services that support the academic success of students, and; 
4.  A full-time community school director or coordinator to manage all out-of-school time activities.

Community schools focus on the whole child by providing resources to support academics, health and social services.  At the same time, youth and community development occur.  This is accomplished through community engagement, which in turn leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become the centers of their community and are open to everyone - all day, every day, evenings and weekends. 

The end goals of community schools are tangible and crucial to the future of this country.  The goals are: 

  • Children are ready and able to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter, achieving higher standards.
  • Young people are well prepared to be productive adults in the workplace and at their homes.
  • Families and neighborhoods are reconnected, safe, supportive and engaged.
  • Parents and community members are involved with school and life-long learning.