“Every Community School should have a school-based health center”
– José Muñoz, Director, Coalition for Community Schools
A community school is a school that utilizes a “whole child” approach to education. They integrate a focus on academics with health, social services, community development and community engagement. A robust community school will include the following four pillars:
- Integrated student supports,
- Family and community engagement,
- Collaborative leadership and practices for educators and administrators, and
- Extended learning time and opportunities.
SBHCs Are Aligned with Community Schools
California’s school-based health center (SBHC) model is a strong complementary asset to the goals and vision for community schools in the state. SBHCs are a way for community schools to bring reliable, affordable, quality health care services to students and their families in an accessible and coordinated way.
- SBHCs address the five outlined student needs in the Community Schools Framework
- SBHCs create a site in a community school where school and community resources can be organized together and co-located
- SBHCs allow for the community school to provide wrap-around services and care to students to help close the achievement gap and break down physical and mental health barriers to learning
- Having support for basic needs allows students to participate fully in their education
SBHCs & Community Schools Work Together
“Our SBHC staff have developed a rare institutional trust with students, families, and community members, which is essential for providing care. During shelter-in-place, our SBHCs and health partners have been able to lean into these existing relationships with our students and families … The bottom line is that SBHCs provide essential health care in Oakland’s most high-need neighborhoods.”
– Curtiss Sarikey, Oakland Unified School District, from School-Based Health Centers: Trusted Lifelines in a Time of Crisis
State Funding: California Community Schools Partnership Program
The California Department of Education introduced a new investment for the planning, implementation, and support of community schools through the California Community Schools Partnership Program. RFAs for planning, implementation, and technical assistance grants have been released with coordination grants to be released soon. The first round of RFAs were due April 1, 2022, but the CDE plans to release another round for planning and implementation grants in the fall of 2022. The goal of this program is to improve student outcomes through supporting schools in partnering with community agencies and local governments.
How LEAs and Partners Can Braid New Funding to Support SBHCs
The California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) has a new guide for 2022 to assist in local planning and strategy that shows local education agencies (LEAs) and partners how they can braid together new state funding opportunities – including those for full-service community schools – to support new school-based health centers (SBHCs) or expand and improve existing SBHCs.
National Community Schools Models, compiled by the Coalition for Community Schools
Community Schools Across the Nation, compiled by the Coalition for Community Schools
Children’s Aid Society Community School (video), from the George Lucas Educational Foundation
Community Schools-Thriving Students Strategic Plan, Oakland Unified School District
Every Child in Every Neighborhood (video), Oakland Unified School District
Santa Clara School-Linked Services Strategic Plan, Santa Clara County
The Coalition for Community Schools
The Coalition for Community Schools is a national organization advancing the community schools movement. It offers wide variety of resources, including more information about the approach and its impact, toolkits for educators and partners, and a list of organizations providing technical assistance to community school efforts.
The Center for Community School Partnerships at the University of California, Davis
The Center for Community School Partnerships (CCSP) promotes student success, youth well being, and equitable, just communities for all of California’s learners by cultivating pathways between communities and their schools. CCSP’s works on research, evaluation, and technical assistance, connecting schools and communities to support student success, youth well-being, and collaborative community-school partnerships. CCSP’s website includes description of CCSP’s services as well as links to their research and resources.
Partnership for Children and Youth
The Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY) brings together government, education, philanthropic, nonprofit, business and community leaders to support student success in California. PCY promotes the community schools approach: their website includes information and resources for those interested in community schools.
The Children’s Aid Society
Since 1992, The Children’s Aid Society has partnered with the New York City Department of Education in more than 20 community schools. The website includes a variety of resources and materials for those interested in community schools.
Community Schools: A Full Spectrum Resource
This article was published in Leadership, the magazine of the Association of California School Administrators. It provides a useful overview of the community schools approach and its impact for students.
Community Schools: Aligning Local Resources for Student Success
This paper was put together by the Partnership for Children and Youth. It explains critical funding streams and strategies for community schools.