A new movement to modernize and innovate K-12 schools is called the Community Schools initiative. With many partners, the ideas embedded in this model are worthy of consideration by all schools. Some background information follows (from the Learning Policy Institute page):
“The Case for Community Schools:
“Community Schools Forward” is a collaborative project driven by four esteemed national partners: the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution (CUE), the Children’s Aid National Center for Community Schools (NCCS), the Coalition for Community Schools (CCS) at IEL, and the Learning Policy Institute (LPI). Our initiative seeks to work alongside education practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from all corners of the country to implement and scale up community schools”
Core Strategies of Community Schools Forward:
- Align: Foster increased cohesion around core community school concepts and frameworks, ensuring that the approach is well-understood and consistently applied across all communities.
- Scale: Identify investment structures that sustain community schools at scale and for the long term, making the model financially viable and accessible to all schools.
- Build: Design infrastructure for technical assistance and professional learning that promotes high-quality implementation, ensuring that schools have the resources and support they need to excel” (Learning Policy Institute, Oct. 20, 2023).
Community schools have demonstrated a significant positive impact on educational outcomes, particularly in underserved communities. They create environments where students can thrive academically and socially by providing a holistic approach to education that meets their physical, cognitive, academic, and social and emotional development needs. Moreover, the community school strategy has the potential to address the deep-rooted educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.