The community school model provides wrap-around services for students and families. It makes the school a critical center of community life. Schools and communities grow stronger as a result.
When a family struggles with food insecurity, poverty or lack of access to health care, a student’s academic performance can suffer.
Community schools offer a valuable coordination of services to support students and families in need. This model goes beyond serving just the academic needs of students. Families are provided with support services which can include dental care, food banks, and mental health and preventative care. Families can access job and career resources and some community school programs even offer cooking or technology classes for adults to help them develop valuable personal and professional skills.
In a recent study of successful community school programs in New York City, community schools were proven to have a positive impact on student attendance, credit accumulation and on-time progression. Students experienced an increased sense of connectedness to adults and peers and there was a reduction in disciplinary incidents.
Every district in New York should have access to resources to develop a community school model, including a designated community school director/coordinator – an essential resource to link pre-existing services and develop community partnerships.
Unfortunately, out of 731 school districts in New York state, only about 296 utilize the community school model, with offerings that vary.