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Community Schools 101: The Nuts and Bolts

Course Coordinator:

Dena Donaldson

About the course

As an educator, you know all too well that many of your students come to school with needs that impede their ability to learn. If we are serious about closing the achievement gap, we must address factors that are beyond the control of teachers and schools alone. Important factors such as healthcare, social services and parental involvement often are divorced from school life, although they are crucial to student success. The community schools strategy enables schools and communities to provide the necessary supports for students, families and communities. This course provides an overview of this strategy, including basic elements, core principles, research, community school results (academic and nonacademic), family and community engagement components, site and system-level implementation, the collaborative leadership framework needed for successful implementation, and examples of successful community school initiatives.

Course Objectives:
• Deepen understanding about the nuts and bolts of the community school strategy.
• Understand the various roles that unions and educators can play.
• Participate in role-playing activities on how to engage peers in conversations about community schools.
• Map out opportunities and barriers in moving this strategy in the community.

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