A Policy Approach to Create and Sustain Community Schools: Promoting Policies that Strengthen Schools, Families and Communities
The Coalition for Community Schools works to mobilize resources and capacity of multiple sectors and institutions to create a united movement for community schools. Community schools use public schools as a hub, bringing together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities, before, during and after school, seven days a week. These partners work together to achieve five key results: (1) children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter; (2) all students learn and achieve to high standards; (3) young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens; (4) families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged; and (5) parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning. Coalition for Community Schools partners include local community school networks, state and national organizations in education, youth development, family support, health and human services, community development, as well as philanthropy and government. This 30-page document is addressed to these Coalition partners and to other local, state and national leaders who are developing policy options for strengthening community schools and are in a position to influence policy decisions. The document is intended to serve as a template for individuals considering policy related to community schools and related aspects of the relationship between schools and communities. Topics include Accountability for results, governance, financing, staffing and professional development, and family and community involvement. Modified Author Abstract.