Community Schools

What Are Community Schools?
A community school is a public school that works with parents, educators and community to increase student opportunities. By making the school the hub of the neighborhood and combining top-quality academics with on-site health and social services, parents work with school staff to strengthen the entire community and ensure that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn. Community schools equip parents with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead not only our families but also our communities and the city.

A coalition of SUCCESS! Partnership leaders, as well as additional teachers, parents, and community members began meeting in December of last year with the goal of transforming every school in our community into an integrated hub of resources. To read more articles about this in DAC click here and here. To get involved email David Greenberg at

What Do Community Schools Offer?

  • High-quality curriculum that includes arts, sports and enrichment, expanded school day and strong supports for teachers.
  • Medical, dental and mental health services right at the school
  • Mentoring, counseling, adult education, ESL and job training
  • Strong partnerships with parents and community add to the design and planning of the community school according to its strengths & needs

Do Community Schools Work?

  • National studies have found that strong community schools have higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates; higher student attendance; higher reading and math scores; improved school climate, including teacher morale and student behavior; greater parent engagement; and lower rates of neighborhood crime and violence.
  • When Cincinnati, Ohio, converted all their schools into community schools, the graduation rate rose from 51% to 82%, and the racial achievement gap dropped enormously.
  • A study of the Children’s Aid Society community schools found that every $1 spent on community schools generates $10-15 in value to society

A Community Schools Expert Visits DAC

The State and Local NEA recently invited Kyle Serrette, Director of Education Justice Programs at the Center for Popular Democracy in Washington DC, to visit Doña Ana County to present on Community Schools.

On April 12, 2016, Kyle presented to a packed room of 79 community leaders. Kyle also had several smaller conversations with community members on topics such as authentic community engagement, wrap-around services, governance and structure, and community school policy. Altogether, attendance at these meetings totaled over 100 people, including parents, teachers, students, school district leaders, health and service providers, higher education representatives, and elected officials.


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Other Resources



Read about building community school models. Kathryn Baron Contributing writer, Education Week.



It is nearly impossible to imagine that, in just three years, a school that had experienced a dropout rate of 84 percent by grade 10 managed to transform itself into a school with a graduation rate of 100 percent…



Community schools are one of the most efficient and effective strategies to improve outcomes for students as well as families and communities. Community schools leverage public and private investments by generating additional financial resources from partners and other sources…




There is a tendency in education reform to disregard the role of family and community. In recent years, the focus of education reform has been predominantly inside the school…



A first stop could be getting to know your school district’s websites:



Community schools are a comprehensive and effective equity strategy that works to provide children like Marcus opportunities and supports that children like James routinely experience…




If you ask most students if they would like a longer school day and a longer school year, the answer – not surprisingly – is “No.” However, if you offer them the opportunity to spend more time learning about things that they have a particular interest in, the response is an enthusiastic “Yes.”



Student schedules include exciting enrichment electives beyond traditional Rochester City School District classes. Sample enrichment classes include the following