Community Schools

May 22, 2023

What is a Community School?

To achieve a transformational whole child vision, community schools serve as an organizing strategy to enrich and expand learning opportunities, connect key partners, and bring together a variety of resources (including health, mental health, and nutrition) to support students and families. When this is done collaboratively, community schools can build trust and reduce bureaucratic barriers to accessing learning opportunities and support services, especially in the highest-poverty schools and communities.

Community schools are public schools that partner with families and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities and supports for students’ school success. Like every good school, community schools must be built on a foundation of powerful teaching that includes challenging academic content and supports students’ mastery of 21st century skills and competencies. What makes community schools unique is the combination of four key pillars (or features) that together create the conditions necessary for students to thrive. The pillars are: 1) integrated student supports; 2) expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities; 3) active family and community engagement; and 4) collaborative leadership and practices.

When implemented well, community schools are guided by principles for equitable whole child practices grounded in the science of learning and development. These principles place integrated student supports in the context of positive developmental relationships; an environment of safety and belonging; rich learning environments; and explicit development of social, emotional, and cognitive skills and mindsets that contribute to academic and life success. This approach prioritizes the full scope of children’s development across multiple domains—including academic, physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and emotional learning—by addressing the distinctive strengths, needs, and interests of students as they engage in learning.

Click on one of the articles below to learn more about Community Schools in Marin

Community Schools Information & Resources

Last year, four qualifying districts (SRCS, SUSD, SMCSD and MCOE), with support from Partnership staff, received Community Schools grants to help them implement their Community Schools plans in partnership with community-based services, families and each other.

here are some resources to learn more about the Community Schools concept and how these districts are moving forward.

Read More »