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  • 8/9/2019 Community Schools Report 2010

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    Working Tog

    Schools in the

    ther for Comm

    District of Colu

    unity

    mbia

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    DC Community Schools Report 2 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Community Schools: The VisionCommunity schools are centers of community, open more hours per

    day and more days per year, with opportunities and supports for

    children and families. They typically involve early learning and care

    opportunities, challenging and engaging real-world curriculum,

    expanded learning time, comprehensive services and learning

    supports (such as school-based or school-linked medical and mentalhealth services), strong family and community engagement, adult

    education and job training and cultural and civic events. The school

    serves as a place for community problem-solving, engaging young

    people in the real world, with neighborhood residents and other

    citizens involved in the education of our children. Community schools

    bolster student success by addressing both academic and non-

    academic needs.

    Unlike traditional public schools, community schools link school and

    community resources as an integral part of their design and

    operation. Consequently, community schools have three major

    advantages that schools acting alone do not. Community Schools:

    Provide learning opportunities that develop academic andnon-academic competencies;

    Garner additional resources to reduce the demand onschool staff for addressing all the challenges that students

    bring to school; and

    Build social capital -- the networks and relationships thatsupport learning and create opportunities for young people

    while strengthening their communities.1

    Working Together for Community Schools in

    the District of Columbia

    IntroductionDuring the summer of 2009, DC VOICE and the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational

    Leadership (Coalition) formed a partnership to consider the potential for community schools in the District of

    Columbia. Over the course of the past six months, DC VOICE and the

    Coalition organized a thinking group to help explore the issue, speak with

    school principals about community schools, look at city needs data, and thestatus of relationship between schools and communities in the city. See

    Appendix 1 for list of thinking group participants.

    Based on our review, DC VOICE and the Coalition propose that the citizens

    and leaders of the District of Columbia take bold action to transform at

    least half of

    the schools in

    the City into

    community schools within the next five years.

    Research and experiences from other cities show

    us that this course of action will strengthen

    student achievement and development of deeper

    ties between parents and other citizens and their

    local public schools. These ties are imperative in

    our view to sustaining the positive reforms that

    are emerging in the District.

    This report reflects the findings of that process

    and is structured in the following way:

    Section 1: Why WeNeed Community Schools in

    the District of Columbia explains the obstacles

    children face in the District of Columbia, providesa broader perspective on the impact of those

    obstacles, and discusses DC principals views on

    and desire for community schools.

    Section 2: DC Vision for Public Schools describes

    how the community schools results framework

    aligns with the goals, objectives, and expected

    results outlined in various documents from DCPS and the City of the District of Columbia.

    With tears in her eyes, Tonette, the mother of a fifth grader at Garfield Elementary Schools in southeast

    Washington, DC, spoke about the vast differences between her sons school and a community school she

    visited in Arlington, Virginia Carlin Springs Elementary School. What struck her most? It was how

    welcomed she felt as she entered the school building. It was overwhelming for me, she said.

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    DC Community Schools Report 3 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Section 3: Community Schools in Depth provides additional details about community schools and their focus on

    results and offers descriptions of successful initiatives in Chicago, Illinois, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Multnomah,

    Oregon.

    Section 4: Moving Forward in DC describes current positive opportunities and supports in place at some DCPS

    schools and calls for a bold action plan to implement community schools in the District of Columbia.

    Why DC Needs Community Schools: The Problem and the Principals

    PerspectiveChildren living in the District of Columbia face daily challenges such as a lack of positive adult role models,

    unmet health needs, unsafe neighborhoods, family financial uncertainty, and a dearth of access to positive

    opportunities. DC has the highest rate of children living in poverty of any state or jurisdiction in the United

    States, creating a number of obstacles students must combat to be successful in school.

    Thirty percent of DC childrens families have incomes below the official federal poverty level ascompared to a national rate of 19%.1

    In 2008, 57% of DC children lived in single-parent families.2 Twenty-two percent of children live in households where the household head is a high school dropout.3 In 2006, the DCPS graduation rate (not including charter schools) was below 50%. 4 The number of juvenile cases referred to DC Superior Court increased in 2007, continuing the upward

    trend that started in 2002. Crimes against persons and against property accounted for a majority of the

    juvenile cases formally petitioned.5

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions biennial YRBSS, in 2007, 21.3 percent ofyouth in DC admitted to carrying a weapon and 43 percent engaged in physical fighting. 6

    In 2007, 14% of children in DC experienced asthma problems.7 In 2006, 11.5% of the babies born had a low-birthweight. The national percentage is 8.3. 8

    These are not excuses; but, if we are to ensure that all children

    succeed at high levels it is important to recognize and

    understand that these and other factors influence the

    education of children and implement appropriate solutions to

    mitigate their impact. Research suggests that health, safety, and

    stability of families and communities are strongly linked to

    student success in school and subsequently in life. In Parsing

    the Achievement Gap II, Paul Barton and Richard Coey call

    attention to nine external factors that can have a negative

    effect on student learning: parent participation, birth weight,

    exposure to toxins (such as lead), hunger and nutrition, talking

    and reading to babies and young children, excess televisionwatching, single-parent families, student/family mobility, and

    summer learning gain/loss.9 The education system cannot be a

    lone wolf if it seeks to reduce the multitude of gaps that exist.

    The authors state:

    The achievement gap has deep roots deep in out-of-

    school experiences and deep in the structures of schools. Inequality is like an unwanted guest

    who comes early in these childrens lives and stays late. Policies and practices that are likely to

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    DC Community Schools Report

    narrow gaps in achievement ne

    at the outset of a childs acade

    lower, achieve, and attain in s

    Not only are these challenges for childr

    teaching, learning, and outcomes for c

    students academic and non-academic

    In its 6th annual Ready Schools Project,

    to begin the school year. This year, the

    would be open longer hours and provid

    percent responded that they would be

    staffing/coordinators, parent/adult edu

    services, and additional programs for ki

    below) Principals also stated that they

    partnerships; for the most part they ar

    Chart 1.

    One principal said, Im happy to be a c

    just at the beginning of the project; pos

    parent support and training, possibly a

    The principals concerns align with seve

    recommendations to improve child wel

    Continue to fund and increaseserving children in the District.

    Develop a continuum of servicdevelopment/job readiness, lit

    Provide supports to decrease ttest.

    Continue increased funding for Require schools to develop eng Increase the opportunity for yo

    05

    101520253035

    Needs fo

    4 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Co

    ed to be broad and comprehensive if they are to ch

    ic career and create the conditions in which every

    hool and in life.10

    en and their families, but they are also challenges f

    ildren and youth, principals must take deliberate st

    needs differently.

    DC VOICE once again asked 100 principals how rea

    also asked about principals desire to become a co

    e multiple opportunities to address the challenges

    interested in establishing a community school. Prin

    cation resources, additional funding, health, ment

    ds as the top needs to be a successful community s

    receive limited support from the system to help th

    tasked with finding and creating outside partners

    ommunity school as long as the funding for resourc

    sible programming would include day care center,

    dentist on site, food and clothing donation.

    ral recommendations from the 2008 DC Kids Count

    l-being.

    he number of out-of-school programs (including m

    s for the unemployed and underemployed, includi

    racy, and job placement services.

    e achievement gap between ethnic groups of stud

    community tutorial and mentoring programs.

    agement strategies to increase parent involvement

    uth to have college preparedness experiences.

    a Successful Community School

    Needs f

    Success

    munity Schools

    ck inequality

    child can

    r schools. To improve

    eps to meet their

    y their schools were

    mmunity school that

    mentioned above, 67

    cipals cited additional

    l health, dental

    chool. (See Chart 1

    m build effective

    ips on their own.

    s are there and not

    ulti-age programs,

    report

    entoring programs)

    g workforce

    nts on standardized

    .

    or a

    ul

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    DC Community Schools Report 5 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Expand life skills education programs, including information on non-violent conflict resolution andhealthy relationships.11

    The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has made important strides to improve student achievement in

    school, but, still, these and other barriers influence students learning and their overall success in school. Based

    on principals interest in transforming their school into a community school, it is evident they see them as

    effective ways to improve outcomes for children.

    The DC Vision for SchoolsReform strategies put forth by DCPS and other City agencies align with the results of community schools. Under

    the leadership of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, DCPS has been working hard to improve schools and

    ensuring the success of all students DCPS and there are real signs of progress. District leadership has outlined

    core beliefs that guide its work, objectives for realizing those beliefs, and has developed a number of strategic

    documents that can be seen on the DCPS website. The community schools strategy supports these core beliefs,

    objectives and elements.

    Core Beliefs Objectives Elements of Effective SchoolsAll children, regardless of

    background or circumstance, can

    achieve at the highest levels.

    Create schools that provide a consistent

    foundation in academics, strong support

    for social and emotional needs, and a

    variety of challenging themes and

    programs.

    Teaching and Learning

    Achievement is a function of

    effort, not innate ability.

    Develop and retain the most highly

    effective educators in the country, and

    recognize and reward their work.

    Leadership

    We have the power and the

    responsibility to close the

    achievement gap.

    Implement a rigorous, relevant, college

    preparatory curriculum that gives all

    students meaningful options for life.

    Job-embedded Professional

    Development

    Our schools must be caring and

    supportive environments.

    Support decision-making with accurate

    information about how our students are

    performing and how the district as a whole

    is performing.

    Resources

    It is critical to engage our

    students families and

    communities as valued partners.

    Provide schools with the support they need

    to operate effectively.

    Safe and Effective Learning

    Environment

    Our decisions at all levels must be

    guided by robust data.

    Partner with families and community

    members who demand better schools.

    Family and Community

    Engagement

    Further, DCPS five-year strategic plan, under the family and community engagement area, outlines goals to

    identify partners and match schools with partnership opportunities in a way that maximizes the impact thatpartners achieve on the overall goals of the district. DCPS also states that it plans to partner with other district

    government agencies such as Department of Mental Health, Parks and Recreation, and Employment Services to

    provide necessary information and resources to parents.

    The City government, of which DCPS is a part, has outlined goals and aspirations for DC children and youth that

    require the attention of all City departments. Mayor Adrian Fenty, through the Deputy Mayor for Educations

    office has initiated coordinated efforts to improve student achievement and outcomes for children. The City has

    six citywide goals for children and youth:

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    DC Community Schools Report 6 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    1. Children are ready for school;2. Children and youth succeed in school;3. Children and youth practice healthy behaviors;4. Children and youth engage in meaningful activities;5. Children and youth live in healthy, stable, and supportive families; and6. Youth make a successful transition into adulthood.12

    These City goals mirror the conditions for learning as identified by the Coalition for Community Schools. (See

    next page.)

    The Statewide Commission of Children, Youth, and Families was established by Mayor Fenty to monitor, align,

    and support child and youth initiatives beyond the classroom, aligns its work to the City goals. Its mission is to

    address the needs of at risk children by reducing juvenile and family violence and promoting social and

    emotional skills among children and youth through a comprehensive integrated services delivery system. There

    are 21 members (required by law) on the Commission, representing each of the various City and state level

    departments and agencies that serve youth including: the State Superintendent of Education, DC Schools

    Chancellor, Director of Human Services, Director of the Department of Health, DC Attorney General, and the

    Director of Parks and Recreation.

    It is clear that all parts of DC government including DCPS recognize the importance of connecting schools and

    the community to improve outcomes for all children. Wrestling with many of the same challenges that are

    currently impacting school achievement and student learning in DC, other school districts have adopted the

    community schools strategy as a resourceful way to leverage, align, and coordinate school and community

    resources to level the playing field for allchildren. From creating schools that provide a consistent foundation in

    academics, strong support for social and emotional needs, and a variety of challenging themes and programs to

    focusing on data and results, the community schools concept aligns with the objectives, strategies, and aims put forth

    by DCPS and the City of DC.

    The time is ripe to take the next step toward implementation of community schools in the District of Columbia.

    Community Schools in Depth

    I'd like to see schools open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, year-round, offering not just mentoring and tutoring

    programs but art, chess, family literacy nights, debate teams, and GED and ESL programs for parents. It

    doesn't have to be that expensive to keep school opens longer. In every school you have classrooms,

    Conditions for Learning

    Early childhood development is fostered through high-quality, comprehensive programs thatnurture learning and development.

    The school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, andhigh standards and expectations for students.

    Students are motivated and engaged in learningboth in school and in community settings,during and after school.

    The basic physical, social, emotional, and economic needs of young people and their families aremet.

    There is mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents and school staff. The community is engaged in the school and promotes a school climate that is safe, supportive,

    and respectful and that connects students to a broader learning community.

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    DC Community Schools Report 7 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    computer labs, libraries, gymsand many have pools. Rent the school out for free from 3:00 to 9:00 PM to

    great non-profit partners like the YMCA's, the Boys and Girls Club, college-readiness programs, and other

    enrichment programs. When schools have these tremendous physical resources, the YMCAs and Boys and

    Girls Club should get out of the business of brick-and-mortar start-ups. Just run their programs in the

    schoolsand put all their scarce resources into children, not buildings. We must open our doors to the

    community. -- Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education

    Strongerschools equal stronger communities and supportive, engaged communities equal stronger schools.

    13

    The community schools strategy is rooted in the most effective way to promote student achievement: meeting

    the needs of the whole child. Community schools mobilize the assets of the school and the entire community to

    improve educational, health, social, family, economic, and related results, connecting children and their families

    to supports and opportunities that are also aligned to academics. They address many of the realities that

    challenge todays schools and educators including those schools and educators in DCPS.

    Driven By Results

    Community schools and their partners pursue a balanced approach that recognizes the importance of both

    academic and non-academic factors and the value of developing social capital to support young people.

    Community schools achieve this balance by focusing on key results.

    Students attend school regularly. Students achieve academically. Students are engaged and motivatedcivically and academically. Students are healthyphysically, emotionally, mentally. Families are involved and supportiveof children and their education. Schools, families and community work together. Schools are safefor students, parents, and school staff. Communities are desirable places to live.

    In most community schools depending on the needs of the student population and surrounding community

    these results are achieved by improving access to supports and opportunities such as:

    Academic enrichment; Adult education; College and career advising; Community building activities; Health services (including dental and mental health); Early childhood programs; On-site social services and family economic supports; Out-of-school time programming; Mentoring; Tutoring; Warm and welcoming school building that is open during non-school hours for community functions and

    programs.

    See Appendix 2 for Community Schools Results-based logic Model.

    Community Schools in ActionCommunity schools are alive and growing, serving millions of students across the nation. Today, there are a

    number of national models and local initiatives that create their own flavor of community schools. The

    framework below illustrates the key components found in successful community school initiatives: community

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    leadership that includes key stakeholde

    leadership (including a lead agency to c

    planning team. This section highlights t

    Portland, OR and shows how this frame

    Chicago

    Chicago Public Schools (CPS) serves abo

    households. CPS is home to the largest

    intermediary for the community school

    communities, open mornings, afternoo

    to gather, learn, and serve. A network

    initiate the effort.

    Each CPS Community School:

    Partners with non-profit organioverall academic goals for impr

    Hires a full-time resource/site cseeks out new partners, coordi

    of the community as he/she is

    Establishes an advisory commitmembers, and other key stake

    school to determine what oppo

    oversees school programs.14

    8 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Co

    rs, strong intermediaries to facilitate a city-wide st

    oordinate the effort), a community school coordin

    hree community school initiatives in: Chicago, IL; Ci

    work guides their efforts.

    ut 426,000 students, eighty-five percent of who co

    community schools initiative in the nation. CPS ser

    s initiative and has transformed more than 150 sch

    ns, evenings, weekends, and during the summer fo

    f school and foundation officials provided the lead

    zations to provide out-of-school-time programs tha

    oving student achievement;oordinator who oversees programs, connects with

    nates with the Advisory Group. The coordinator is e

    he bridge connecting all community school stakeh

    tee that includes teachers, parents, the school prin

    olders. The Advisory committee conducts a needs

    rtunities and supports that are needed, identifies e

    munity Schools

    ategy, site-level

    tor, and a site-based

    ncinnati, OH; and

    e from low-income

    es as the

    ols into hubs of their

    community members

    rship necessary to

    t support the schools

    current partners and

    ssential to the success

    lders; and

    ipal, community

    ssessment for the

    xisting resources, and

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    DC Community Schools Report 9 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Some of the results seen in Chicagos community schools:

    Standardized test results that show a steady closing of the achievement gap when compared with otherChicago schools. Increased reading and math scores have been linked to out-of-school time

    opportunities;

    Students attending community schools have demonstrated significantly lower numbers of seriousdisciplinary incidents compared to schools with similar demographics; and

    Since graduating its first class in 2006, Community Links High School in Chicago has maintained a 99%graduation rate, with an 85% college-going rate and 97% daily attendance rate.15

    Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) initiated its community schools work with this vision and mission: to serve more

    fully the needs of our students and to support the improvement of their academic and intellectual development,

    all Cincinnati Public Schools will engage their communities in improving student achievement. As centers in the

    community, the schools, and their partners should foster strong collaboration, set high expectations, embrace

    diversity, and share accountability for results. In Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization serves as the intermediary

    for their Community Learning Centers initiative, and collaborative networks of partners in parent engagement

    health, mental health, youth development, and other fields help to organize services at community learning

    centers

    In 2006, CPS launched nine pilot sites. From the beginning,

    each community school pilot was equipped with a full-time

    resource coordinator to manage, coordinate, and align the

    many community partners. This proved to be a salient

    component to their success. Cincinnatis community schools

    services are coordinated community partnerships that

    promote academic achievement and provide recreational,

    educational, social, health, civic, and cultural opportunities for

    students, families, and their communitiesall converging

    around vision of community learning centers.

    During the 2007-08 school year, the community schools

    showed promising trends in the benchmarks they strived to

    achieve: school rating (continuous improvement), student enrollment (10% increase), behavior incidents (10%

    decrease), achievement tests (10% increase in proficient or better), dental health (90% fully screened and

    treated), AYP index (met), average daily attendance (93% daily), student stability (5% increase), physical health

    (95% immunized), and developmental assets (5% increase). All nine pilot sites showed progress toward meeting

    benchmarks, but two (Winston Hills Academy and Riverview East) made significant strides, meeting 89% of the

    benchmarks for 2007-08.

    There are key factors that have been attributed to the success of these two schools:

    A full-time resource coordinator; Full-time coordinated and results-focused community partnerships including daily afterschool

    programming;

    A school nurse and an on-site mental health professional; and On going, meaningful community and parent engagement.

    The resources and partnerships supporting community schools throughout Cincinnati are making a dramatic

    difference: from 2000 to 2008, CPSs 17 high schools have seen their graduation rate improve from 51% to 82%.

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    Most of the supports and opportunities are provided at no extra charge by the schools partners. The respective

    partner redirects funds already serving the target population to provide the opportunity in a location that is

    more accessible to the community they serve: the school. This structure has been a thriving arrangement for the

    school district, community partners, and families. Additional dollars have been raised including funds from the

    local United Way, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and two private foundations.

    PortlandThe Multnomah County (including the City of Portland) community schools initiative is called Schools Uniting

    Neighborhoods (SUN Schools). There are 58 community schools in six districts. The initiative is led by a

    Coordinating Council, which provides high-level system leadership, oversight, and support. County staff function

    in the intermediary role since the County has allocated more than $5 million to the SUN schools initiative; the

    City provides $1.4 million. The responsibilities of the Council include:

    Ensuring systems level alignment among all participating organizations; Developing vision, design, and operating policies for the System; Ensuring accountability and quality through evaluation and monitoring; Providing recommendations to Sponsors; Promoting sustainability; Ensuring equitability of access; and Making operating decisions together.16

    The sponsors include the Multnomah County Chair (Lead), superintendents of four school districts, the Mayor of

    Portland, and the Oregon Department of Human Services. Sponsors select lead agencies which are all non-profit

    organizations with the exception of the Department of Recreation. All organizations and districts that are

    involved with community schools serve as a member of the Coordinating Council. This structured method of

    managing community schools in the Portland Metropolitan area allows for true collaboration and sharing of

    resources and expertise.

    Located in neighborhood schools, SUN Community Schools coordinate and provide:

    Extended day academic and enrichment opportunities that are connected to learning that takes placeduring the school day;

    Family involvement and strengthening programs; Adult education; Health and social services for students, families, and the community; and Community events.

    The 58 SUN Community Schools include 22 elementary, 13 middle, 17 K-8, and six high schools. SUN Community

    Schools serve all ages, preschool to seniors, with focus on the students in the immediate school community.

    They are open before and after school, evenings, and weekends.

    According to an evaluation conducted in 2007-08, the SUN Community Schools served:

    15,041 children and youth in ongoing enrolled classes and activities; 2,855 adults in adult education, skill-building and school-related classes; and 91,725 people in community and family events and activities.17

    Students that regularly participated in opportunities showed strong gains in academics, attendance, and

    behavioral areas:

    73% increased state benchmark scores in Reading; 76% increased state benchmark scores in Math;

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    DC Community Schools Report 11 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Average daily school attendance was 95%; 78% had a more positive attitude toward school; 70% improved behavior; 72% improved in finding alternative resolutions to problems; and 86% of students have at least one adult who cares about them and to whom they can go for help.18

    Financing Community SchoolsFinancing for community schools comes from multiple funding streams federal, state, and local as well asprivate sources. These resources, combined with the civic and volunteer capacity of neighborhoods, make

    community schools come alive. The exhibits on the next few pages illustrate the range of services offered by

    selected community schools and how they are financed.

    Exhibit #1: Burroughs Elementary School Chicago, IL

    Burroughs Elementary School relies on a coordinated

    approach to governance that has bearing on its

    financial oversight: 1) An Executive Committee,

    including the principal, Brighton Park Neighborhood

    Council executive director, and the schools resourcecoordinator participate in weekly planning meetings;

    2) an Evaluation Committee, driven primarily by

    parents meets on a monthly basis to evaluate

    programs and activities; 3) an Oversight Committee,

    involving parents, business representatives, and

    community entities meets monthly to receive status

    briefings and to complete broad strategic planning;

    and 4) Intermediary functions are shared between

    the lead agency (administration, advocacy, fund-

    raising, and infrastructure functions) and CPS

    (technical assistance, fund-raising, and evaluation).

    Burroughs and lead partner Brighton Park

    Neighborhood Council leverage Federal 21st CCLC

    funds (their largest single-source fund) and NCLB funds

    to provide academic support and parental education

    programming. These and adult education and after

    school activities are subsidized by: CPS After School

    Counts tutoring program and After School All Stars

    sports program, and a business contribution from the

    AAA. College interns volunteer to tutor students. Polk

    Brothers Foundation and a school-based support grant

    are applied to parent involvement and leadership

    programming. Health services are funded through a

    state grant called Safety Net Violence Prevention and a

    City grant called Chicago Youth Services Cross Roads

    provides two part-time mental health counselors. A CPS

    grant funds a full time school-based resource

    coordinator primarily responsible for coordinating the

    variety of programming at the school.

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    DC Community Schools Report 12 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Exhibit #2: Lane Middle School Portland, OR

    The intermediary for Lane Middle School is a

    collaborative among the City of Portland,

    Multnomah County, and Portland Public Schools

    called the Schools United Neighborhoods (SUN)

    Initiative. In the 1990s, the initiative, supported bya five-year grant from the Annie E. Casey

    Foundation emerged in response to a growing

    achievement gap, diminished public funds, and

    national research that illuminated risk factors for

    children in the time immediately before and after

    school. The SUN Initiative pooled City and County

    resources and attracted new funding to expand

    student enrichment activities and social services in

    a growing number of schools. Using a full-service

    community school model, SUN represented a new

    philosophy of using school-based services toaddress multiple layers of need.

    At Lane Middle School, funds come in the form of

    federal 21st CCLC, county resources, City general funds

    to provide materials and supplies, the Portland

    Childrens Levy Fund, and Oregon Learning Lab, the

    Portland Public Schools donation for an activity bus,

    homework support, and building space; the Parks

    Foundation provides support for teens, individual

    donors provide equipment such as yoga mats, and

    volunteer hours, and the Portland State University,

    Girls Inc of Northwest Oregon, and Oregon Robotics

    and Tournament Outreach Program provide volunteer

    hours. The school groups after school, academic

    enrichment, life skills, youth development, and service

    learning programs and services into one category.

    Portland Public Schools provide space and utilities for a

    health clinic supported also by county and federal

    funding. A variety of services and volunteers come

    from local CBOs. Funding comes as direct allocation,

    redirection of existing funds, and in-kind support.

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    DC Community Schools Report

    T

    Exhibit #3: Sayre High School Philade

    Sayre Community School is known as a

    centers across the University of Pennsy

    leadership of the Netter Center for Co

    In-kind resources from PENN,

    Sayre, and the school districthave helped partners secure core

    operational funds from the city,

    state, and private foundations.

    Significant support is also

    provided by community and

    university volunteers,

    academically-based community

    service courses at PENN, and staff

    funded by redirection of existing

    funds.

    The school has a strong school-to-

    college connection through a

    university-wide partnership,

    particularly with PENN medicine

    and nursing students and faculty

    mentors. Federal support comes

    in the form of grants from the

    USDA for a nutrition coordinator

    and operation costs, U.S. Health

    and Human Services for a

    federally qualified health center

    grant, and Health Resources and

    Services Administration of the U.S.

    Department of Health and Human

    Services to support medical school

    integration. Also, PENN

    undergraduates play multiple roles at

    Sayre and are often funded by the

    Federal Work-Study Program through

    the U.S. Department of Education.

    13 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Co

    Coll

    Mentors, $182,79

    6

    6%

    Parent

    Involvement/Lead

    ership, $44,015

    2%

    Recreation &

    Sports, $28,972

    1%

    Service

    Learning/Civic

    ngagement, $61

    3,499

    21%

    utors, $68,294

    2%

    Volunteers, $35,5

    44

    1%

    Site

    Coordination, $47

    7,500

    16%

    Sayre Univ-Assisted Community School (School Year 07-08

    Total=$2,898,124 (by Program

    Federal,

    22.

    State, $131,700

    4.54%

    City, $379,000

    13.08%

    District,

    $139,317

    4.81%

    Private

    Foundation, $120,0

    00

    4.14%

    Community-Based

    Organizations

    (CBOs), $808,457

    27.90%

    Sayre Univ-Assisted Community School

    School Year 07-08

    Total=$2,898,124 (by Fund

    lphia, PA

    university-assisted community school that partner

    lvania (PENN) and other community partners throu

    munity Partnerships.

    munity Schools

    Academic

    Enrichment, $265,

    017

    9%After

    School, $276,170

    10%

    Family Supp

    Centers, $94,

    3%

    Health

    Services, $55

    4

    19%

    Interns -

    ege, $261,606

    9%

    Philadelphia, PA)

    ervice)

    $638,115

    .0%

    In-Kind

    Support, $681,535

    23.52%

    (Philadelphia, PA)

    ource)

    ith schools and

    gh the coordinating

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    DC Community Schools Report 14 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Moving Forward in DCFor DC, its not as much about figuring out how to get started, it is more about how to move forward. Some key

    pieces of the needed foundation have already been laid. The Statewide Commission of Children, Youth, and

    Families provides a space where school and other public agency leaders can work together. Additionally, DCPS

    Five-Year Plan notes that they will create School-Based Resource Centers (SBRC) that will serve as one-stop

    shops for students and families. There are already a number of positive supports in place at some DC schools.

    And, perhaps most significantly, the community is beginning to mobilize in support of community schools.

    DC VOICE held six town hall meetings with participants from all eight wards during November 2009 to deliver

    the school readiness results to the community and find out their perceptions about DC schools and gauge their

    interest in community schools. There was a resounding interest in community schools as well as in the supports

    and opportunities they establish with community partners for children, their families, and neighborhood

    residents to ultimately improve short-term (student achievement) and long-term outcomes (high school

    graduation and successful transition into post secondary education and healthy adulthood). In fact, at every

    meeting, at least 65% of participants more frequently this was closer to 80% -- said the system should put a

    strong emphasis on leveraging partnerships to create community schools. They also recommended next steps as

    instituting a community task force and including funding in the DCPS budget for the implementation of

    community schools.

    Current Efforts in DCIn discussing the implementation of a community schools initiative in DC, it is important to highlight the work

    that is already taking place to improve the lives and academic success of the Districts youth:

    Communities in Schools is providing services in seven schools and is partnering with DC Parks andRecreation. They bring into the schools both academic and non-academic supports. The types of

    supports offered vary by schools. Though supports are integrated into schools, there are logistical

    limitations in the buildings, limiting the connections made with community members living in the

    surrounding neighborhood;

    DC Assembly on School-Based Health Care has brought school-based health clinics to five schools(Eastern HS, Woodson HS, Community of Hope, Anacostia, and Spingarn HS). Much of their work that isbrought into schools aims to teach about the prevention of health problems. While ensuring that

    children are healthy and ready to learn is an important element, this alone does not create a

    community school;

    Tellin Stories is in five schools and is actively working to empower parents and community members inhaving a voice around what happens in their schools. They have begun asset mapping with school staff,

    including teachers, so that they are aware of what is available for their students and families in the

    community. DC VOICE intends to build on this work and other similar efforts in addition to engaging

    community resident and organization support for the implementation of community schools.

    Community members at the town hall meetings have identified asset mapping as an important firststep;

    Thefull service schools (FSS) modeloperates in nine middle schools. According to the DCPS websitethese schools have academic coaches and other behavioral and mental health professionals placed

    within the school to support teachers and students in raising academic achievement and

    social/emotional wellbeing. Key outcomes for FSS include:

    o Academic success,o Social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing for all students,o A positive and welcoming school climate,

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    o Strong partnerships between families and schools, ando Coordinated and effective delivery of services and supports;

    DC Alliance for Youth Advocates is part of the working group for DCPS DC One Initiative that focuses onthe quality of after school;

    DCPS Afterschool Programs include both elementary and middle school programs where studentsparticipate in an academic Power Hour, as well as arts and recreation activities. In the high schoolprograms students can participate in credit recovery classes and college preparatory classes, as well as

    participate in leadership, arts, and recreational activities after school;

    Listed on the City of DC website are 17 different organizations that coordinate mentoring programs forchildren and youth living in the District;19 and

    The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation coordinates partnerships that expand andimprove services and opportunities for children and youth in the District of Columbia, especially during

    their time out of school. Partnerships include public schools, city agencies, employers, and non-profit

    providers.20

    These examples suggest that many DC schools have programs and partners after school, health, social services,

    and adult education; but few have the coherent approach that community schools offer. A DC community

    schools strategy would build on the capacity of the community based organizations, public agencies, and other

    organizations that already have strong relationships with the schools and community. The impact of the efforts

    currently underway would only be enhanced by the comprehensive, coherent, and the results driven approach

    of community schools.

    Using What Weve Learned from Other School DistrictsThe challenge is to convert existing services and opportunities now present in schools into a coherent strategy

    to get results. Fortunately, DC does not have to start from scratch. Many other school districts across the

    country from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania to Cincinnati, Ohio to Portland, Oregon have already undertakenthis work. Looking at these established community schools initiatives, it is clear that the following elements

    must be in place to full realize the benefits of community schools:

    Multi-stakeholder Leadership from the community to provide the fuel and direction needed to startand sustain the work and to set a course for smart implementation and growth of the community

    schools initiative.

    An Intermediary is essential to guide and support the initiative. Lead Agency with Community School Coordinator to bring together wrap-around services and other

    opportunities for students as well as reach out to families and communities.

    An Organized and Vocal Constituency that includes students, parents, and community residents andkeeps community and school leaders focused on making sure that community schools have the support

    they need and get results.

    Financing that taps into a diverse array of funding streams and ensures that existing communityresources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.

    Multi-Stakeholder Leadership Group- It is important that Mayor, City Council, Chancellor, Deputy Mayor for

    Education, civic, business and foundation leaders, and residents are all part of community school

    implementation. A leadership group that reflects the diverse stakeholders in the City is needed. An affiliate of

    the Statewide Commission of Children, Youth, and Families is an option; however, it would need strong citizen

    and family involvement in addition to public agency leaders.

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    The Intermediary- One organization must serve as the locus for implementation and management of the

    initiativethe intermediary. In some communities this is the LEA, but in others it is a Community-based

    organization. For example, in Chicago the school district serves as the lead agency, in Cincinnati it is a non

    profit organizations, in the Leigh Valley it is the United Way, and in Portland it is the external Commission that

    was established by key stakeholders. No matter the organization or agency that takes the lead, it must have

    legitimacy and credibility throughout the community. The intermediary would be responsible for managing the

    initiative, supporting themulti-stakeholder leadership group, developing a results-based framework, providing

    technical assistance and professional development, communicating with the general public, and evaluating thecommunity schools initiative.

    Lead Agency with Community School Coordinator- Innovative community schools initiatives have chosen to

    partner schools with lead agencies with the right expertise and capacity to mobilize and coordinate community

    resources. The lead agency employs a community schools coordinator who works hand-in-hand with the

    principal to bring the community schools vision alive. Common lead agencies are community-based

    organizations, higher education institutions, or public agencies. Principals are always involved in the selection of

    these agencies, and often established partners are chosen. This approach has the added advantage of not

    augmenting the responsibility of the principals, allowing them to focus on instructional leadership.

    The community schools coordinator is typicallyresponsible for:

    Community needs and asset assessment; Results-focused planning; Partnership mobilization; Service coordination; and Support of site team.

    Organized and Vocal Constituency: Each

    community school should be guided by a site

    team sometimes called the School Neighborhood

    Advisory Team that includes parents,neighborhood residents, the principal, the lead

    agency, the community schools coordinator, and

    staff from other partner agencies. The job of this

    team is to assess school needs, mobilize community assets to improve results, and provide overall guidance and

    oversight.

    Financing: Monies are necessary to cover the following specific costs in a community school: community

    schools coordinator salary, intermediary functions including technical assistance and evaluation, and funds to

    galvanize partners and provide for community engagement activities. In a City like Washington these costs

    would be roughly $150,000 per school. The operating assumption for most community schools is that other

    opportunities and services at the site would be provided through the many now fragmented public and private

    funding streams in the city.

    Communities have used various sources of funds to cover these costs including for example:

    Locally appropriated funds; After school funds (21st Century Community Learning Centers); Title I funds; Youth engagement funds; City agencies (e.g., DOH, DHS, CFSA); and Private philanthropy.

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    DC Community Schools Report 17 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    A portion of the $150,000 can come from new or existing DCPS or City funds, supplemented by private funding

    reallocated resources as well. Funding opportunities also are available through various components of the

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act including Race to the Top funds, Title I School Improvement Grants,

    Investing in Education (i3) funds. Community schools are also an allowable use under the Title I program and

    IDEA.

    A Bold Action PlanDC VOICE and the Coalition for Community Schools urge the development of a bold plan to transform 50% ofDCPS schools in community schools, with at least one in each ward within the next five years. Coupled with

    ongoing efforts to improve instruction and strengthen school leadership, the community school strategy will

    contribute to the results that the students and the City need. The time is ripe for community leaders to come

    together to develop a community schools strategy. We ask the Mayor and the District of Columbia City Council

    to work together to establish the DC Community Schools Implementation Group. With support from the office

    of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Implementation Group would be asked to develop a plan to:

    Open 12 community schools for the 2010-2011 school year. Establish an RFP process to select those interested initial schools. This RFP should require that schools:

    o Partner with at least one nonprofit organization that has demonstrated competencies, roots inthe neighborhood where the school is located, and is willing and able to help:

    strengthen its relationship to students, families, and the community, broker programs and services from other agencies, and achieve financial sustainability for sustaining the community school beyond Campaign

    funding;

    o Be responsive to the needs and desires of students and families by: creating a representative committee that includes students, parents, teachers, the

    principal, a representative of the lead nonprofit partner, and other community and

    faith-based representatives as desired that is responsible for monitoring the programs

    and services that take place in the school building, and

    conducting a survey of students, parents, and teachers to identify the programs andservices that they would like to see offered at the school;

    o Employ a full-time community schools coordinator to identify individuals and agencies willingand able to offer opportunities and supports at the school for children and adults, and to

    facilitate communication and coordination between program providers, school personnel, and

    families; and

    o Ensure that the opportunities and supports offered through this effort are coordinated, data-driven, results-focused, supporting the schools academic program.

    Select an intermediary to support the initial cadre of schools. Outline a plan to add an additional 12 schools each subsequent year to total 60 community schools by

    the 2014-15 school year.

    Establish a permanent community stakeholder group to guide the effort.ConclusionIn an interview with Charlie Rose, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, When the school becomes the

    center of community life, great things are going to happen for those families, and great things are going to

    happen to those children.21

    There some great things happening to bring school and community resources together in DC schools right

    now, but they remain too fragmented and disconnected. What is lacking is a comprehensive and coherent vision

    and approach.

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    There is a clear demand and desire in the District from parents, educators, community members, nonprofits,

    and youth for the community schools strategy.

    Research and experience show that helping youth succeed is not only about schools it is about community.

    The challenge is to bring all assets of the community youth and families, senior citizens, local businesses,

    community based organizations, faith based groups, and families and the great things already happening in

    various DC schools together to enable the Districts youth and families to succeed. The vision of schools as

    centers of community is the best approach in addressing the multiple needs of youth, families, and thecommunity. Using community schools as a vehicle can ensure that the academic and social-emotional needs of

    DC youth are met.

    It is not a question ofifDC should do this rather, it is a question ofwhen to begin the work.

    1 National Center for Children in Poverty, 50-State Demographic Wizard,http://www.nccp.org/tools/demographics/, accessed on November 12, 2009.2 Annie E. Case Foundation, Kids Count Data Center, http://datacenter.kidscount.org, accessed on November 12,

    2009.3 Ibid.4 Michael Bimbaum, D.C. Graduation Rates Down, Washington Post, June 9, 2009,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/08/AR2009060803996.html accessed onNovember 19, 2009.5 Every Kid Counts in the District of Columbia, DC Kids Count Collaborative,http://dcctf.hostcentric.com/dckidscount_files/2009%20FACT%20BOOK-FINAL%20VERSION.pdf, Washington,DC, 2008, accessed on November 14, 2009.6 Ibid.7 Annie E. Case Foundation, Kids Count Data Center, http://datacenter.kidscount.org, accessed on November 12,2009.8 Ibid.9 Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley, Parsing the Achievement Gap II,, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ, April

    2009, accessed on November 30, 2009.10 Ibid.11 Ibid.12 Deputy Mayor for Education,http://dme.dc.gov/dme/frames.asp?doc=/dme/lib/dme/icsic_action/icsic_brochure.pdf, accessed on November30, 2009.13 Community Schools Research Brief, Coalition for Community Schools, Washington, DC, 2009.14 Chicago Public Schools Community Schools Initiative 2006 Award Nomination.15 Ibid.16 SUN Coordinating Council Charter.17 SUN Community School Results,

    ,accessed on December 7, 2009.18

    Ibid.19 District of Columbia Mentoring Programs, < http://cncs.dc.gov/cncs/cwp/view,a,1197,q,524961.asp>, accessedon November 25, 2009.20 DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, < http://www.cyitc.org/>, accessed on November 29,2009.21 US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Charlie Rose, Charlie Rose Show, PBS, March 11, 2009.

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    APPENDIX 1

    DC THINKING GROUP PARTICIPANTS

    21st Century School Fund

    American Federation of Teachers

    Americas Promise Alliance

    Brookings Institution

    Coalition for Community Schools

    Collaborative for Education Organizing

    Communities in Schools - DC

    Critical Exposure

    D.C. Action For Children

    D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates

    D.C. Assembly on School-Based Health Care

    D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

    D.C. Education Compact

    D.C. PTA

    D.C. Language Access CoalitionFlamboyan Foundation

    D.C. School Reform Now

    D.C. Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation

    DC VOICE

    Department of Prevention and Community Health and

    Director of the Department's Center for Health and

    Health Care in Schools, George Washington University

    Metro TeenAIDS

    Pre-K for All - D.C.

    Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc.

    State Board of EducationTeaching for Change - Tellin' Stories Project

    Urban Alliance Foundation

    Urban Institute

    Washington Region Area Grantmakers

    Youth Education Alliance

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    Working Tog

    Schools in the

    ther for Comm

    District of Colu

    unity

    mbia

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    DC Community Schools Report 2 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Community Schools

    Community Schools: The VisionCommunity schools are centers of community, open more hours per

    day and more days per year, with opportunities and supports for

    children and families. They typically involve early learning and care

    opportunities, challenging and engaging real-world curriculum,

    expanded learning time, comprehensive services and learning

    supports (such as school-based or school-linked medical and mentalhealth services), strong family and community engagement, adult

    education and job training and cultural and civic events. The school

    serves as a place for community problem-solving, engaging young

    people in the real world, with neighborhood residents and other

    citizens involved in the education of our children. Community schools

    bolster student success by addressing both academic and non-

    academic needs.

    Unlike traditional public schools, community schools link school and

    community resources as an integral part of their design and

    operation. Consequently, community schools have three major

    advantages that schools acting alone do not. Community Schools:

    Provide learning opportunities that develop academic andnon-academic competencies;

    Garner additional resources to reduce the demand onschool staff for addressing all the challenges that students

    bring to school; and

    Build social capital -- the networks and relationships thatsupport learning and create opportunities for young people

    while strengthening their communities.1

    Working Together for Community Schools in

    the District of Columbia

    IntroductionDuring the summer of 2009, DC VOICE and the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational

    Leadership (Coalition) formed a partnership to consider the potential for community schools in the District of

    Columbia. Over the course of the past six months, DC VOICE and the

    Coalition organized a thinking group to help explore the issue, speak with

    school principals about community schools, look at city needs data, and thestatus of relationship between schools and communities in the city. See

    Appendix 1 for list of thinking group participants.

    Based on our review, DC VOICE and the Coalition propose that the citizens

    and leaders of the District of Columbia take bold action to transform at

    least half of

    the schools in

    the City into

    community schools within the next five years.

    Research and experiences from other cities show

    us that this course of action will strengthen

    student achievement and development of deeper

    ties between parents and other citizens and their

    local public schools. These ties are imperative in

    our view to sustaining the positive reforms that

    are emerging in the District.

    This report reflects the findings of that process

    and is structured in the following way:

    Section 1: Why WeNeed Community Schools in

    the District of Columbia explains the obstacles

    children face in the District of Columbia, providesa broader perspective on the impact of those

    obstacles, and discusses DC principals views on

    and desire for community schools.

    Section 2: DC Vision for Public Schools describes

    how the community schools results framework

    aligns with the goals, objectives, and expected

    results outlined in various documents from DCPS and the City of the District of Columbia.

    With tears in her eyes, Tonette, the mother of a fifth grader at Garfield Elementary Schools in southeast

    Washington, DC, spoke about the vast differences between her sons school and a community school she

    visited in Arlington, Virginia Carlin Springs Elementary School. What struck her most? It was how

    welcomed she felt as she entered the school building. It was overwhelming for me, she said.

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    Section 3: Community Schools in Depth provides additional details about community schools and their focus on

    results and offers descriptions of successful initiatives in Chicago, Illinois, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Multnomah,

    Oregon.

    Section 4: Moving Forward in DC describes current positive opportunities and supports in place at some DCPS

    schools and calls for a bold action plan to implement community schools in the District of Columbia.

    Why DC Needs Community Schools: The Problem and the Principals

    PerspectiveChildren living in the District of Columbia face daily challenges such as a lack of positive adult role models,

    unmet health needs, unsafe neighborhoods, family financial uncertainty, and a dearth of access to positive

    opportunities. DC has the highest rate of children living in poverty of any state or jurisdiction in the United

    States, creating a number of obstacles students must combat to be successful in school.

    Thirty percent of DC childrens families have incomes below the official federal poverty level ascompared to a national rate of 19%.1

    In 2008, 57% of DC children lived in single-parent families.2 Twenty-two percent of children live in households where the household head is a high school dropout.3 In 2006, the DCPS graduation rate (not including charter schools) was below 50%. 4 The number of juvenile cases referred to DC Superior Court increased in 2007, continuing the upward

    trend that started in 2002. Crimes against persons and against property accounted for a majority of the

    juvenile cases formally petitioned.5

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions biennial YRBSS, in 2007, 21.3 percent ofyouth in DC admitted to carrying a weapon and 43 percent engaged in physical fighting. 6

    In 2007, 14% of children in DC experienced asthma problems.7 In 2006, 11.5% of the babies born had a low-birthweight. The national percentage is 8.3. 8

    These are not excuses; but, if we are to ensure that all children

    succeed at high levels it is important to recognize and

    understand that these and other factors influence the

    education of children and implement appropriate solutions to

    mitigate their impact. Research suggests that health, safety, and

    stability of families and communities are strongly linked to

    student success in school and subsequently in life. In Parsing

    the Achievement Gap II, Paul Barton and Richard Coey call

    attention to nine external factors that can have a negative

    effect on student learning: parent participation, birth weight,

    exposure to toxins (such as lead), hunger and nutrition, talking

    and reading to babies and young children, excess televisionwatching, single-parent families, student/family mobility, and

    summer learning gain/loss.9 The education system cannot be a

    lone wolf if it seeks to reduce the multitude of gaps that exist.

    The authors state:

    The achievement gap has deep roots deep in out-of-

    school experiences and deep in the structures of schools. Inequality is like an unwanted guest

    who comes early in these childrens lives and stays late. Policies and practices that are likely to

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    DC Community Schools Report

    narrow gaps in achievement ne

    at the outset of a childs acade

    lower, achieve, and attain in s

    Not only are these challenges for childr

    teaching, learning, and outcomes for c

    students academic and non-academic

    In its 6th annual Ready Schools Project,

    to begin the school year. This year, the

    would be open longer hours and provid

    percent responded that they would be

    staffing/coordinators, parent/adult edu

    services, and additional programs for ki

    below) Principals also stated that they

    partnerships; for the most part they ar

    Chart 1.

    One principal said, Im happy to be a c

    just at the beginning of the project; pos

    parent support and training, possibly a

    The principals concerns align with seve

    recommendations to improve child wel

    Continue to fund and increaseserving children in the District.

    Develop a continuum of servicdevelopment/job readiness, lit

    Provide supports to decrease ttest.

    Continue increased funding for Require schools to develop eng Increase the opportunity for yo

    05

    101520253035

    Needs fo

    4 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Co

    ed to be broad and comprehensive if they are to ch

    ic career and create the conditions in which every

    hool and in life.10

    en and their families, but they are also challenges f

    ildren and youth, principals must take deliberate st

    needs differently.

    DC VOICE once again asked 100 principals how rea

    also asked about principals desire to become a co

    e multiple opportunities to address the challenges

    interested in establishing a community school. Prin

    cation resources, additional funding, health, ment

    ds as the top needs to be a successful community s

    receive limited support from the system to help th

    tasked with finding and creating outside partners

    ommunity school as long as the funding for resourc

    sible programming would include day care center,

    dentist on site, food and clothing donation.

    ral recommendations from the 2008 DC Kids Count

    l-being.

    he number of out-of-school programs (including m

    s for the unemployed and underemployed, includi

    racy, and job placement services.

    e achievement gap between ethnic groups of stud

    community tutorial and mentoring programs.

    agement strategies to increase parent involvement

    uth to have college preparedness experiences.

    a Successful Community School

    Needs f

    Success

    munity Schools

    ck inequality

    child can

    r schools. To improve

    eps to meet their

    y their schools were

    mmunity school that

    mentioned above, 67

    cipals cited additional

    l health, dental

    chool. (See Chart 1

    m build effective

    ips on their own.

    s are there and not

    ulti-age programs,

    report

    entoring programs)

    g workforce

    nts on standardized

    .

    or a

    ul

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    Expand life skills education programs, including information on non-violent conflict resolution andhealthy relationships.11

    The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has made important strides to improve student achievement in

    school, but, still, these and other barriers influence students learning and their overall success in school. Based

    on principals interest in transforming their school into a community school, it is evident they see them as

    effective ways to improve outcomes for children.

    The DC Vision for SchoolsReform strategies put forth by DCPS and other City agencies align with the results of community schools. Under

    the leadership of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, DCPS has been working hard to improve schools and

    ensuring the success of all students DCPS and there are real signs of progress. District leadership has outlined

    core beliefs that guide its work, objectives for realizing those beliefs, and has developed a number of strategic

    documents that can be seen on the DCPS website. The community schools strategy supports these core beliefs,

    objectives and elements.

    Core Beliefs Objectives Elements of Effective SchoolsAll children, regardless of

    background or circumstance, can

    achieve at the highest levels.

    Create schools that provide a consistent

    foundation in academics, strong support

    for social and emotional needs, and a

    variety of challenging themes and

    programs.

    Teaching and Learning

    Achievement is a function of

    effort, not innate ability.

    Develop and retain the most highly

    effective educators in the country, and

    recognize and reward their work.

    Leadership

    We have the power and the

    responsibility to close the

    achievement gap.

    Implement a rigorous, relevant, college

    preparatory curriculum that gives all

    students meaningful options for life.

    Job-embedded Professional

    Development

    Our schools must be caring and

    supportive environments.

    Support decision-making with accurate

    information about how our students are

    performing and how the district as a whole

    is performing.

    Resources

    It is critical to engage our

    students families and

    communities as valued partners.

    Provide schools with the support they need

    to operate effectively.

    Safe and Effective Learning

    Environment

    Our decisions at all levels must be

    guided by robust data.

    Partner with families and community

    members who demand better schools.

    Family and Community

    Engagement

    Further, DCPS five-year strategic plan, under the family and community engagement area, outlines goals to

    identify partners and match schools with partnership opportunities in a way that maximizes the impact thatpartners achieve on the overall goals of the district. DCPS also states that it plans to partner with other district

    government agencies such as Department of Mental Health, Parks and Recreation, and Employment Services to

    provide necessary information and resources to parents.

    The City government, of which DCPS is a part, has outlined goals and aspirations for DC children and youth that

    require the attention of all City departments. Mayor Adrian Fenty, through the Deputy Mayor for Educations

    office has initiated coordinated efforts to improve student achievement and outcomes for children. The City has

    six citywide goals for children and youth:

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    1. Children are ready for school;2. Children and youth succeed in school;3. Children and youth practice healthy behaviors;4. Children and youth engage in meaningful activities;5. Children and youth live in healthy, stable, and supportive families; and6. Youth make a successful transition into adulthood.12

    These City goals mirror the conditions for learning as identified by the Coalition for Community Schools. (See

    next page.)

    The Statewide Commission of Children, Youth, and Families was established by Mayor Fenty to monitor, align,

    and support child and youth initiatives beyond the classroom, aligns its work to the City goals. Its mission is to

    address the needs of at risk children by reducing juvenile and family violence and promoting social and

    emotional skills among children and youth through a comprehensive integrated services delivery system. There

    are 21 members (required by law) on the Commission, representing each of the various City and state level

    departments and agencies that serve youth including: the State Superintendent of Education, DC Schools

    Chancellor, Director of Human Services, Director of the Department of Health, DC Attorney General, and the

    Director of Parks and Recreation.

    It is clear that all parts of DC government including DCPS recognize the importance of connecting schools and

    the community to improve outcomes for all children. Wrestling with many of the same challenges that are

    currently impacting school achievement and student learning in DC, other school districts have adopted the

    community schools strategy as a resourceful way to leverage, align, and coordinate school and community

    resources to level the playing field for allchildren. From creating schools that provide a consistent foundation in

    academics, strong support for social and emotional needs, and a variety of challenging themes and programs to

    focusing on data and results, the community schools concept aligns with the objectives, strategies, and aims put forth

    by DCPS and the City of DC.

    The time is ripe to take the next step toward implementation of community schools in the District of Columbia.

    Community Schools in Depth

    I'd like to see schools open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, year-round, offering not just mentoring and tutoring

    programs but art, chess, family literacy nights, debate teams, and GED and ESL programs for parents. It

    doesn't have to be that expensive to keep school opens longer. In every school you have classrooms,

    Conditions for Learning

    Early childhood development is fostered through high-quality, comprehensive programs thatnurture learning and development.

    The school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, andhigh standards and expectations for students.

    Students are motivated and engaged in learningboth in school and in community settings,during and after school.

    The basic physical, social, emotional, and economic needs of young people and their families aremet.

    There is mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents and school staff. The community is engaged in the school and promotes a school climate that is safe, supportive,

    and respectful and that connects students to a broader learning community.

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    computer labs, libraries, gymsand many have pools. Rent the school out for free from 3:00 to 9:00 PM to

    great non-profit partners like the YMCA's, the Boys and Girls Club, college-readiness programs, and other

    enrichment programs. When schools have these tremendous physical resources, the YMCAs and Boys and

    Girls Club should get out of the business of brick-and-mortar start-ups. Just run their programs in the

    schoolsand put all their scarce resources into children, not buildings. We must open our doors to the

    community. -- Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education

    Strongerschools equal stronger communities and supportive, engaged communities equal stronger schools.

    13

    The community schools strategy is rooted in the most effective way to promote student achievement: meeting

    the needs of the whole child. Community schools mobilize the assets of the school and the entire community to

    improve educational, health, social, family, economic, and related results, connecting children and their families

    to supports and opportunities that are also aligned to academics. They address many of the realities that

    challenge todays schools and educators including those schools and educators in DCPS.

    Driven By Results

    Community schools and their partners pursue a balanced approach that recognizes the importance of both

    academic and non-academic factors and the value of developing social capital to support young people.

    Community schools achieve this balance by focusing on key results.

    Students attend school regularly. Students achieve academically. Students are engaged and motivatedcivically and academically. Students are healthyphysically, emotionally, mentally. Families are involved and supportiveof children and their education. Schools, families and community work together. Schools are safefor students, parents, and school staff. Communities are desirable places to live.

    In most community schools depending on the needs of the student population and surrounding community

    these results are achieved by improving access to supports and opportunities such as:

    Academic enrichment; Adult education; College and career advising; Community building activities; Health services (including dental and mental health); Early childhood programs; On-site social services and family economic supports; Out-of-school time programming; Mentoring; Tutoring; Warm and welcoming school building that is open during non-school hours for community functions and

    programs.

    See Appendix 2 for Community Schools Results-based logic Model.

    Community Schools in ActionCommunity schools are alive and growing, serving millions of students across the nation. Today, there are a

    number of national models and local initiatives that create their own flavor of community schools. The

    framework below illustrates the key components found in successful community school initiatives: community

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    leadership that includes key stakeholde

    leadership (including a lead agency to c

    planning team. This section highlights t

    Portland, OR and shows how this frame

    Chicago

    Chicago Public Schools (CPS) serves abo

    households. CPS is home to the largest

    intermediary for the community school

    communities, open mornings, afternoo

    to gather, learn, and serve. A network

    initiate the effort.

    Each CPS Community School:

    Partners with non-profit organioverall academic goals for impr

    Hires a full-time resource/site cseeks out new partners, coordi

    of the community as he/she is

    Establishes an advisory commitmembers, and other key stake

    school to determine what oppo

    oversees school programs.14

    8 DC VOICE & The Coalition for Co

    rs, strong intermediaries to facilitate a city-wide st

    oordinate the effort), a community school coordin

    hree community school initiatives in: Chicago, IL; Ci

    work guides their efforts.

    ut 426,000 students, eighty-five percent of who co

    community schools initiative in the nation. CPS ser

    s initiative and has transformed more than 150 sch

    ns, evenings, weekends, and during the summer fo

    f school and foundation officials provided the lead

    zations to provide out-of-school-time programs tha

    oving student achievement;oordinator who oversees programs, connects with

    nates with the Advisory Group. The coordinator is e

    he bridge connecting all community school stakeh

    tee that includes teachers, parents, the school prin

    olders. The Advisory committee conducts a needs

    rtunities and supports that are needed, identifies e

    munity Schools

    ategy, site-level

    tor, and a site-based

    ncinnati, OH; and

    e from low-income

    es as the

    ols into hubs of their

    community members

    rship necessary to

    t support the schools

    current partners and

    ssential to the success

    lders; and

    ipal, community

    ssessment for the

    xisting resources, and

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    Some of the results seen in Chicagos community schools:

    Standardized test results that show a steady closing of the achievement gap when compared with otherChicago schools. Increased reading and math scores have been linked to out-of-school time

    opportunities;

    Students attending community schools have demonstrated significantly lower numbers of seriousdisciplinary incidents compared to schools with similar demographics; and

    Since graduating its first class in 2006, Community Links High School in Chicago has maintained a 99%graduation rate, with an 85% college-going rate and 97% daily attendance rate.15

    Cincinnati

    Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) initiated its community schools work with this vision and mission: to serve more

    fully the needs of our students and to support the improvement of their academic and intellectual development,

    all Cincinnati Public Schools will engage their communities in improving student achievement. As centers in the

    community, the schools, and their partners should foster strong collaboration, set high expectations, embrace

    diversity, and share accountability for results. In Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization serves as the intermediary

    for their Community Learning Centers initiative, and collaborative networks of partners in parent engagement

    health, mental health, youth development, and other fields help to organize services at community learning

    centers

    In 2006, CPS launched nine pilot sites. From the beginning,

    each community school pilot was equipped with a full-time

    resource coordinator to manage, coordinate, and align the

    many community partners. This proved to be a salient

    component to their success. Cincinnatis community schools

    services are coordinated community partnerships that

    promote academic achievement and provide recreational,

    educational, social, health, civic, and cultural opportunities for

    students, families, and their communitiesall converging

    around vision of community learning centers.

    During the 2007-08 school year, the community schools

    showed promising trends in the benchmarks they strived to

    achieve: school rating (continuous improvement), student enrollment (10% increase), behavior incidents (10%

    decrease), achievement tests (10% increase in proficient or better), dental health (90% fully screened and

    treated), AYP index (met), average daily attendance (93% daily), student stability (5% increase), physical health

    (95% immunized), and developmental assets (5% increase). All nine pilot sites showed progress toward meeting

    benchmarks, but two (Winston Hills Academy and Riverview East) made significant strides, meeting 89% of the

    benchmarks for 2007-08.

    There are key factors that have been attributed to the success of these two schools:

    A full-time resource coordinator; Full-time coordinated and results-focused community partnerships including daily afterschool

    programming;

    A school nurse and an on-site mental health professional; and On going, meaningful community and parent engagement.

    The resources and partnerships supporting community schools throughout Cincinnati are making a dramatic

    difference: from 2000 to 2008, CPSs 17 high schools have seen their graduation rate improve from 51% to 82%.

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    Most of the supports and opportunities are provided at no extra charge by the schools partners. The respective

    partner redirects funds already serving the target population to provide the opportunity in a location that is

    more accessible to the community they serve: the school. This structure has been a thriving arrangement for the

    school district, community partners, and families. Additional dollars have been raised including funds from the

    local United Way, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and two private foundations.

    PortlandThe Multnomah County (including the City of Portland) community schools initiative is called Schools Uniting

    Neighborhoods (SUN Schools). There are 58 community schools in six districts. The initiative is led by a

    Coordinating Council, which provides high-level system leadership, oversight, and support. County staff function

    in the intermediary role since the County has allocated more than $5 million to the SUN schools initiative; the

    City provides $1.4 million. The responsibilities of the Council include:

    Ensuring systems level alignment among all participating organizations; Developing vision, design, and operating policies for the System; Ensuring accountability and quality through evaluation and monitoring; Providing recommendations to Sponsors; Promoting sustainability; Ensuring equitability of access; and Making operating decisions together.16

    The sponsors include the Multnomah County Chair (Lead), superintendents of four school districts, the Mayor of

    Portland, and the Oregon Department of Human Services. Sponsors select lead agencies which are all non-profit

    organizations with the exception of the Department of Recreation. All organizations and districts that are

    involved with community schools serve as a member of the Coordinating Council. This structured method of

    managing community schools in the Portland Metropolitan area allows for true collaboration and sharing of

    resources and expertise.

    Located in neighborhood schools, SUN Community Schools coordinate and provide:

    Extended day academic and enrichment opportunities that are connected to learning that takes placeduring the school day;

    Family involvement and strengthening programs; Adult education; Health and social services for students, families, and the community; and Community events.

    The 58 SUN Community Schools include 22 elementary, 13 middle, 17 K-8, and six high schools. SUN Community

    Schools serve all ages, preschool to seniors, with focus on the students in the immediate school community.

    They are open before and after school, evenings, and weekends.

    According to an evaluation conducted in 2007-08, the SUN Community Schools served:

    15,041 children and youth in ongoing enrolled classes and activities; 2,855 adults in adult education, skill-building and school-related classes; and 91,725 people in community and family events and activities.17

    Students that regularly participated in opportunities showed strong gains in academics, attendance, and

    behavioral areas:

    73% increased state benchmark scores in Reading; 76% increased state benchmark scores in Math;

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    Average daily school attendance was 95%; 78% had a more positive attitude toward school; 70% improved behavior; 72% improved in finding alternative resolutions to problems; and 86% of students have at least one adult who cares about them and to whom they can go for help.18

    Financing Community SchoolsFinancing for community schools comes from multiple funding streams federal, state, and local as well asprivate sources. These resources, combined with the civic and volunteer capacity of neighborhoods, make

    community schools come alive. The exhibits on the next few pages illustrate the range of services offered by

    selected community schools and how they are financed.