What is a Community School?
A community learning center (CLC) is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. It has an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement that leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.
Using public schools as hubs, community learning centera bring together many partners to offer a range of support and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results:
Children are ready to learn when they enter school and every day thereafter. All students learn and achieve to high standards.
Young people are well prepared for adult roles in the workplace, as parents and as citizens.
Families and neighborhoods are safe, supportive and engaged.
Parents and community members are involved with the school and their own life-long learning.
Where are the Community Learning Centers Located?
Obsidian Middle School, Lynch Elementary, Terrebonne Community School and Vern Patrick Elementary are Redmond Community Learning Centers with after school and evening programming.
Why Do We Need Community Learning Centers?
Research tells us that young people need a wide range of opportunities available to them in order to succeed. All of our children, regardless of their economic situation and racial or family circumstances, deserve access to opportunities which will allow for success.
There are many challenges to schools and educators today that Community Learning Centers address:
- Cultural differences
- Too much unstructured time
- Disinterest in the educational process
- Health concerns
- Unsafe school environments
- Lack of funding for schools
What is the Vision for a Community Learning Center?
Schools and communities must work to fulfill five conditions for every child to succeed.
1. The school has a core instructional program with qualified teachers, a challenging curriculum, and high standards and expectations for students. High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community’s assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
2. Students are motivated and engaged in learning – both in school and in community settings, during and after school. Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
3. The basic physical, mental and emotional health needs of young people and their families are recognized and addressed. Family resource centers, early childhood development programs, coordinated health, mental health and social services, counseling, and other supports enhance family life by building upon individuals’ strengths and skills.
4. There is mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents, families and school staff. Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
5. Community engagement, together with school efforts, promotes a school climate that is safe, supportive and respectful and connects students to a broader learning community. All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.
What Programs are Offered in Community Learning Centers?
In a community school, youth, families and community residents work as equal partners with schools and other community institutions to develop programs and services in five areas:
1. Quality Education – High-caliber curriculum and instruction enable all children to meet challenging academic standards. The school uses all of the community’s assets as resources for learning and involves students in contributing to the solution of community problems.
2. Youth Development – Young people develop their assets and talents, form positive relationships with peers and adults, and serve as resources to their communities.
3. Family Support – Family resource centers, early childhood development programs, coordinated health, mental health and social services, counseling, and other supports enhance family life by building upon individuals’ strengths and skills.
4. Family and Community Engagement – Family members and other residents actively participate in designing, supporting, monitoring and advocating quality programs and activities in the school and community.
5. Community Development – All participants focus on strengthening the local leadership, social networks, economic viability and physical infrastructure of the surrounding community.
Do Community Learning Centers Work?
Nationwide studies conclude that community learning centers have a positive impact on what matters most to students, parents, communities and schools. Here are some findings:
· Student learning improves.
· Parent and family participation in their children’s education and in the school increases.
· Principals and teachers have more time for quality instruction because the school’s community partners help address non-academic barriers to learning.
· Families have more opportunities and support in caring for and helping to educate their children, and in contributing to their community.
Community schools generate other positive outcomes as well. Improved safety and security, increased community pride, stronger relationships between school and community, and greater utilization of schools and other public services and facilities all reflect the broader “community-building” role of community schools. Community schools and their students come to be seen as valued resources, and communities feel a great stake in and accountability for student success.
What are the Redmond School District Community Learning Centers Grant Goals?
*“Targeted Population”- Students scoring below benchmark up to three points above benchmark levels
1. Annually Increase the RIT scores in reading and math of students scoring below benchmark and up to three points above benchmark levels- Goal all students meet 8th grade benchmarks
· Growth RIT points by student
2. Annually Increase student engagement by 10% as determined by increased attendance, increased grade GPA, and decreased referrals using PBS data
· Attendance data
· Grade data
· PBS Data
3. Annually Increase parent involvement in school activities and support for learning for the identified population to reach the targeted 80% goal.
· Growth in conference attendance, parent programming attendance, support of student learning as determined by:
· Tools for evaluation- Parent pre and post surveys collect attendance data
4. Collect and record data weekly using Excel
5. Create trimester evaluations reports at the end of each trimester to determine growth toward the listed goals- Excel
6. Create a year end evaluation report that summarizes the result of the yearlong data collection- excel- merge to ODE reporting tool
Much of the content contained on this page was created by The Coalition for Community Schools.
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If you have questions, suggestions or a new partnership please contact:
District Community School Coordinator