- With P.S. 46, South Beach; P.S. 57, Clifton; and I.S. 49 Dreyfus Intermediate joining the existing community schools in the borough, Staten Island will have six schools this fall participating in the New York City Department of Education’s community schools initiative, according to SILive.com.
- Each community school receives a coordinator who is employed by a community-based agency and works with other organizations to provide students with counseling, healthcare and other social services that can help students be more successful in school.
- The expansion of community schools across the city has been a major priority for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a short amount of time — just about two years — the city has built the largest community schools initiative in the country and expects to have 215 community schools this year. This past spring, the city’s efforts were recognized by the Coalition for Community Schools, which promotes community schools nationwide and provides a variety of resources, research and networking opportunities for school and community leaders involved with community schools. Other cities with growing community school initiatives include Oakland, CA, Baltimore, MD and Nashville, TN.
The community school model is viewed as an effective approach to addressing nonacademic areas that might be contributing to absenteeism, health problems, social-emotional difficulties and other issues that prevent students from learning. Community partners often include after-school providers and mental health services. Organizations such as the Coalition for Community Schools and the Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools recommend that community school coordinators work as part of school leadership teams to make sure programs and services brought into the school are aligned to overall school goals.