Leadership Message

Partnerships between schools and community resources can vary on several dimensions: for example, from single focus to comprehensive, from light touch to intensive, and from co-located to integrated. In this issue of Partnership Press, we explore the idea of an integrated partnership − what it looks like, what makes it work, what it can achieve.


National News    Since 2006, the National Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools (NTACCS) has provided training and technical assistance to the Kent School Services Network (KSSN) – a systemic community schools initiative in Kent County, Michigan, formed to provide students the supports and opportunities they need to help them succeed academically. KSSN is a rising star in the community schools field and is an important example of how integration and coordination at multiple levels can have a positive impact on schools and communities.

Local News    In these challenging times, it makes more sense than ever for schools and community partners to join forces to support student achievement. Coordinating and integrating services is not only effective but is also cost-effective. Joint planning avoids redundancy of service and school-based delivery ensures that children and families have access to needed supports in a familiar and convenient location.

Policy News    P.I.C. – Partnership. Integration. Coordination. The Children’s Aid Society’s work in New York City and around the country has taught us that all three are critical elements of community schools. Partnership means that schools and community resources decide to join forces in an effort to significantly improve outcomes for children and families. Integration means that the additional supports, services and opportunities brought by the partners are woven into the life of the school, particularly with the core instructional program.

International News    Gordon Higgins has been a valuable link between The Children’s Aid Society and Scotland since he first visited Children’s Aid’s Community Schools about 10 years ago. He has contributed to the implementation of similar models in Scotland by bringing groups for study visits and keeping abreast of Children’s Aid’s Community Schools developments by paying yearly visits to the NTACCS and keeping open communication with its staff. He has also presented the Scottish model during the Community School Practicum conferences in 2005 and 2007, and this year he shared the Scottish Community Schools strategy with a large group of Irish educators and social workers that visited The Children’s Aid Society’s schools in NYC.