A Community School is a partnership between school staff, families, youth, and the community to raise student achievement by ensuring that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn. A Community School serves as a center of the neighborhood by providing access to critical programs and services like health care, mentoring, expanded learning programs, adult education, and other services that support the whole child, engage families, and strengthen the entire community. In the NYC Community School approach, each school is paired with a lead Community Based Organization (CBO) partner that works collaboratively with the principal and the School Leadership Team (SLT) to carry out the work at the school.
Every Community School is different and reflects the strengths and needs of its students, families, and local community. However, the best and most successful Community Schools all share common features which support student learning:
National studies have found that strong community schools have higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates; higher student attendance; higher reading and math scores; improved school climate, including teacher morale and student behavior; greater parent engagement; and lower rates of neighborhood crime and violence.