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Friday April 25th 2014

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REPORT: Positive Student Outcomes in Community Schools

The Center for American Progress issued a report today proposing that community schools that provide services and programs for both students and their families positively affected learning outcomes.

From their website:

“In a nation where 42 percent of children live in low-income families, too many schools face the challenge of teaching students burdened with unmet needs that pose obstacles to learning. If our aim as a country is to ensure that all children succeed academically, particularly those living in struggling communities with limited resources, we simply can’t ask schools to do it alone.

Community schools that align schools and community resources are a promising strategy for improving student outcomes by providing wraparound services that meet the social, physical, cognitive, and economic needs of both students and families. And while much of the current literature on community schools focuses on highlighting policies and practices to support the implementation of community school models, very little research examines how community schools affect student outcomes.”

The report  focuses on Redwood City School District (RCSD) in Redwood City, Calif., giving an in-depth analysis of one district’s community schools using  data to show how students and families use services at these schools and how those services work together to positively affect student outcomes. One of the most interesting points they make is that frequent participation in family-extended programs was linked to increases in students’ perceptions of their school as a supportive environment. Feeling supported at school was linked to students’ motivation and academic confidence, both of which were associated with gains in achievement in math for all students and English language development scores for English learners.

READ the Report