Every child deserves a safe, welcoming and collaborative school that builds trusting relationships and critical thinking ~ Representative Michael Honda (D-CA)
As communities begin to align their work around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), educators and policymakers must acknowledge that while high academic standards for all students are important, they are not sufficient to ensure students are prepared for life beyond high school. In order to meet the needs of the Common Core and ensure that students are prepared for college and careers, communities must continue to build the capacity of school systems to meet the needs of every student. In an effort to meet those needs, many schools and districts are tapping into existing community partners and using the school as a hub to provide a continuum of services to students and families. Supports such as school-based health services, expanded learning opportunities, and family supports can result in healthier students, better academic outcomes, and a number of physical, social and emotional, and socio-economic benefits. This approach not only benefits the students who need it the most; it also promotes family engagement and builds strong families and communities.
The goal of this study tour will be to highlight Oakland’s approach to coordinating various student and family supports through the creation of a district-wide community schools initiative; to learn about state level efforts in support of this work; and to identify the role civil rights partners can play in supporting this work.
– Why community schools?
o Community schools are a strategy to prepare students for college, careers, and life. They support academic, social and emotional, physical, college readiness, and socio-economic outcomes.
o As states and districts are implementing the Common Core, they must complement the standards with a focus on multiple student supports to ensure students will meet those standards. Community schools are a strategy to coordinate those necessary supports.
o In addition to positive student outcomes, community schools also promote strong families and allow for parents to have a voice in their child’s education.
o Community schools are a strategy to engage community partners that already exist in a community to meet the needs of underserved students and families
– What has community school implementation looked like?
o Learn about how communities have developed a shared vision and enlisted partners in government and elsewhere to bring that vision to scale.
o Hear from champions on strategies for promoting community schools as an equity strategy.
o Learn about the role civil rights communities have played in supporting community schools.
– What implications are there for the civil rights community?
o Learn about how civil rights advocates can ensure that community schools are implemented equitably.
- What role can federal or state agencies support play in ensuring equity and building the capacity of local stakeholders?
o Address how civil rights advocates can tie community schools into their current efforts and messaging?
- How have community schools helped students of color graduate prepared for college, careers, and life?
- How has a community schools approach been framed in the midst of Common Core implementation discussions?
Pre-reading for discussion group:
Pre-reading for study tour:
Study Tour Resources