Full Service Community Schools

FULL SERVICE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Building Capacity and Coaching  to Overcome Barriers to Learning

“One of the greatest social justice issues of our time is the inequity of access to quality education, to support services and healthcare that families need. These inequities often perpetuate poverty and negatively impact student success.  The full service community schools movement holds the promise to equip students, engage families and improve schools and it is here now.”

– John Linney

What are Full Service Community Schools?

Full service community schools [FSCS] integrate after school and out of school time activities, parent engagement centers, and community health and behavioral health agencies and supports to help a school efficiently achieve its goals of student achievement in a healthy and safe environment. A FSCS creates a partnership among schools, local communities, and public/private entities. It combines the best educational practices with a wide range of vital in-house primary and  behavioral health and social services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally, and socially supported to learn and succeed.

“A community school 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.”

– Coalition of Community Schools

FSCS are school-community partnerships that combine the best of educational practices, vital in-house physical and behavioral health services, youth development and social services; ensuring that children are prepared and motivated to learn.

Why?

Schools do not have the resources nor are they equipped to address all the barriers to learning that students come to school with every day. For educational institutions to reach their goals, schools have to reach outside their walls and look to integrate supports and services that can help them and their students and staff succeed.

How we can help

By providing technical assistance including facilitation, evaluation, strategic planning, communication support and other services, we help schools and communities navigate the sometimes challenging road towards developing and sustaining a thriving community school.

The 8 Essential Ingredients for Successful Integration in a Full Service School [DOWNLOAD LINK PENDING].

We support integration, not just co-location of supports and services in a school environment, using a collaborative, on-site approach to support students. We bring together the efforts of educators, out of school time programming, family advocates, health professionals and community-based organizations to address the needs of students and their families.

We have worked with districts in California, Maryland, Illinois, and New Mexico. See our free Full Service Schools Integration Brief below:

Download the Elev8 Integration Brief here

Benefits of Full Service Schools

FSCS’s have been around since the turn of the century so there is a longstanding understanding of their intended impact.  In general, FSCS’s …

  1. Decrease likelihood of drug/alcohol use, crime and other risky activities after school and other times
  2. Address health and wellness issues that students walk into the classroom with so we can increase their attendance and help them focus on learning.
  3. Foster greater partnership among schools and nonprofit partners
  4. Create cost savings as a result of capitalizing on existing resources in a school and in the surrounding community.
  5. Creates an educated workforce that has hands-on experiential learning – ready for 21st Century jobs in a global economy.
  6. Encourage parents to participate in their student’s education
  7. Improves and increase relationships with staff and greater connectedness to the school.

Other Education and Community Impacts include:

  • Improved academic performance, improved attendance, higher graduation rates, improved behavior, positive youth development, greater parental involvement
  • Capitalize on and integrating existing services in a community avoids duplication, cuts service costs, and develops greater efficiencies.
  • Strengthen relationships between schools and disenfranchised parents, extends learning opportunities for students outside of school time, breaks down barriers between services that students and families need.

Full Service Community Schools develop a tightly woven network of services that support the development needs of the whole student; so they are healthy, supported and successful in life. The public and private sectors of the community both have a role to play in the student success. Making better use of existing resources within the community is essential for creating well-rounded students prepared for 21st century employment and educational opportunities in global marketplace.

“I see community schools as a strategy for organizing the resources of the community around student success.”

– Pat Harvey, former superintendent, St. Paul (MN) Public Schools