What's Informing Our Thinking

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Whole Child, Whole School: Applying Theory to Practice in a Community School
by Eileen Santiago, JoAnne Ferrara and Jane Quinn, Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2012

Whole Child, Whole School: Applying Theory to Practice in a Community School, is a case study about the transformation of the Thomas Edison Elementary School in Port Chester, NY from a traditional (and low-performing) public school to a high-performing community school.  Santiago served as principal of Edison during this 15-year journey, and she writes with passion and intelligence about the importance of addressing children's total developmental needs in order to promote school success.  Ferrara describes the multi-year relationship of Edison with nearby Manhattanville College.  Quinn's contribution as co-author includes adding a national perspective to this very powerful local example of community schools in action. 

In the words of Martin Blank, President, Institute for Educational Leadership and Director, Coalition for Community Schools, “The deep partnership between the Edison School and Manhattanville College discussed in this book serves as a beacon for others seeking to build such partnerships that not only educate children more effectively, but also prepare the next generation of teachers for classroom realities.”

The strategies outlined by the authors will provide suggestions for using the resources of community partnerships as a framework for school renewal and improvement in student achievement. The book concludes with a "call to action" for the dissemination of the community school strategy and its embrace of whole child education.  Here is a photo of colleagues in Vancouver, WA who have used this book in their professional learning community.