Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Community Schools: Full-Service Settings

What would it take for the youth who grow up in the North End of Springfield to achieve 'escape velocity'?

Today a new research by the Center for American Progress reporst on the impact of community schools was released. Community schools view their mission as an anti-poverty movement and attempt to be a hub in the life of a community and family. They strive to connect with the range of support organizations that can help families thrive.  The report describes them as schools that "partner with nonprofits and local agencies to provide students with health care, academic enrichment, mental and behavioral health services, and other youth development activities without burdening school staff."

Some choice quotes/insights from the report:

Community school partnerships can complement proven school improvement strategies-effective teachers challenging curriculum, and expanded learning time. These partnerships also allow teachers, principals, and staff to concentrate on what’s happening in the classroom with the knowledge that students’ “outside” needs are being addressed.
Recent evaluations of community schools throughout the country demonstrate that schools that integrate student services and a high-quality educational experience have a positive effect on students and their families in a variety of areas including student achievment, school attendance, and parent involvement.

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