A Community School is a public school – the hub of its neighborhood, uniting families, educators and community partners to provide all students with top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to succeed in school and in life.
Community schools are the kind of public schools that families want and children deserve.
A "Transformational Community School" is a school that starts with a set of results they want to achieve. And they organize the community around agreed-upon results and identify the resources to achieve them. This transformational organizing is guided with deep community buy-in, a proven national strategy, a salaried school-level coordinator and a local stakeholder board.
A Community School is not a new idea. They exist everywhere the community provides student-centered supports:
Instead of fragmenting neighborhoods, these hyper-local schools unify them. Instead of inventing another “silver bullet,” community schools offer a proven approach that’s rooted in our democratic values and retooled for the 21st-century, with neighbors helping neighbors, and schools serving as the hub of their communities.
Community schools, 7,500 and growing, represent a national movement with a multi-decade track record of improving achievement, empowering students and families, and strengthening neighborhoods. They are flourishing in a growing number of cities, suburbs, and rural America, in regular public schools and public charter schools. Community schools offer an approach that builds on core American values to meet 21st-century needs. They are more relevant than ever.
Community Schools are appropriate ESSA intervention strategy for school improvement. Any school can be a community school.
How Can You Start a Community School?
Many districts and school leaders in Tennessee already have components of a community school already in place. If you are ready to leverage and expand that effort, start below with the Coalition of Community Schools Overview and Guide. They provide resources and tools will help you design and implement community schools at the school-site level. These resources are divided into several interconnected steps that will help you get started. Many of the resources in this toolkit originate from community schools initiatives around the country that have been working on developing community schools for many years.
Community Schools Overview
Here are resources that provide an overview of the community school strategy:
Building a Leadership Team
Needs and Capacity Assessments
Sharing Space and Facilities
Financing your Community School
Research and Evaluation for Continuous Improvement
READ MORE on the Coalition for Community Schools website:
Still need more evidence? To read the brief click here.