Community Schools In New York City

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A Community School is a strategy for organizing the resources of the community around student success. It is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone —all day, evenings and weekends, year round.

Since 1992, The Children’s Aid Society partners with the New York City Department of Education in 16 community schools, located in Washington Heights, Harlem, the South Bronx and Staten Island. These Community Schools are based on a “developmental triangle,” which calls for a strong instructional program, expanded learning opportunities through enrichment and services designed to remove barriers to students’ learning and healthy development, so that they can thrive academically and socially. The schools offer a comprehensive, integrated approach to education that extends the hours, services and partnerships of traditional public schools. Most Children’s Aid Society schools are open all day and well into the evening, six days per week, year-round. Because students in Children’s Aid community schools receive high quality services inside the schools, they arrive to classes ready to learn, and teachers are able to focus on instruction. Children’s Aid community schools produce better student and teacher attendance, increased grade retention, more appropriate referrals to special education services, improved test scores and higher parent involvement than similar schools. This work has won national and international recognition, as well as numerous awards.

The Children’s Aid Society is an active and founding member of the Coalition for Community Schools.