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Knowledge From the Field

Achieving Results Through Community School Partnerships

Published: January 2012

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress; Coalition for Community Schools; Institute for Educational Leadership

Author(s): Blank, Martin J.; Reuben Jacobson; Atelia Melaville

Funder(s): JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Related Organization(s): Coalition for Community Schools, Institute for Educational Leadership

View Report (36 pages; 488KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Low-Performing Schools


Drawing on the experiences of several community school initiatives, the paper outlines how school and community leaders develop a common vision for a community schools strategy, explores the components of successful partnerships, and makes the case that community schools can reform the public school system in ways that are creative, enduring, and based on measurable results.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=By sharing resources, expertise, and accountability, community schools can address challenges related to economic hardship and create essential conditions for learning by concentrating on a single access point—public schools—to effectively target their efforts.

=The six key strategies of successful community school partnerships include: 1) ensuring that all partners share a common vision; 2) establishing formal relationships and collaborative structures to engage stakeholders; 3) encouraging open dialogue about challenges and solutions; 4) engaging partners in the use of data; 5) creating and empowering central-office capacity at the district level to sustain community school work; and 6) leveraging community resources and braiding funding streams.

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Community Partner; Community School; Elementary and Secondary Education; Public School

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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