At a time when economic, social and educational inequities have contributed to a widening achievement gap across the nation, Community Schools have emerged as a promising strategy for addressing this opportunity gap and promoting success for all students, in school and in life.
CSCi’s Community Schools Initiative (CSI) supports the development of Full Service Community Schools and Districts as a school reform strategy and best practice for student, family, and community success. Educational disparity is a social justice issue, and we are committed to working with communities to ensure that all students in all neighborhoods have access to an engaging, high quality, 21st century education.
We all know that schools cannot do it alone, and that all aspects of a community have a responsibility to work together to achieve successful outcomes for their children and families. The Community School approach leverages the full resources of a community – public, private and non-profit – to address barriers to learning. Community Schools integrate critical student and family support services with high quality instruction, ensuring the conditions needed for students to engage and excel.
Decades of research have shown that community schools are a cost-effective way to increase student engagement and academic success, improve health and social outcomes, promote family engagement and self-sufficiency, strengthen communities, and create a positive school climate for students, families and teachers alike.
The Community Schools Initiative (CSI) works with interested school districts, community based organizations, city and county agencies, communities and collaboratives to plan, implement and sustain a Full Service Community Schools approach. We emphasize capacity building and thoughtful planning in our work, guiding and supporting communities to create and scale up a community school approach based on their unique strengths, needs and existing programs and partnerships, such as:
- small learning communities
- school health centers
- comprehensive after-school programs
- family resource centers
- coordinated services teams
- early childhood education initiatives
We work at the local, regional and national levels, providing a range of services from discreet trainings to comprehensive planning and coaching through program implementation.
If you are engaged in a Community School effort in the Bay Area, and are not already a member of the Bay Area Community Schools Network, it is a vital source of knowledge, networking and support.