Community Schools in Action: Addressing the Opportunity Gap

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In 1992, Children's Aid launched its first community school, which organizes the resources of the school and the community around student success. The foundations of the community schools model are: strong teaching and school leadership; rich and meaningful out-of-school-time experiences; and health and social supports for students and their families to eliminate barriers so children can thrive. Children's Aid created the National Center for Community Schools in 1994 in response to a growing interest in this comprehensive and integrated approach. The role of NCCS is to build the capacity of schools, districts, community partners and government agencies to organize their human and financial resources around student success. Since its founding, NCCS has provided training, consultation and other forms of technical assistance to all of the major national and international community school initiatives.

Today, leaders from community school initiatives across the country will send teams of educators, policymakers and community partners to learn, teach, share and network at the The Children's Aid Society's 10th Community Schools Practicum. This biennial event will present important new research that documents the growing “opportunity gap” between America’s richest and poorest families. It will explore specific policies and practices that contribute to this gap, and will use the opportunity gap framework as a lens for developing and expanding equity-oriented solutions. Other topics to be covered will include reducing chronic absenteeism, life coaching and racial disparity in school discipline.

The Keynote will be delivered by Robert D. Putnam, best-selling author of The Widening Opportunity Gap: Growing up Rich and Growing up Poor in America Today, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Better Together and Restoring the American Community. Mr. Putnam is also the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Learn more here.