Community Schools

Aligned services support a trajectory of opportunity for the whole life of a learner. Most of our work on community schools has focused on working with school districts and cities on efforts to scale and systematize the community school concept at the district-wide level.


mapping for Alignment: Inventorying school-based services in west contra Costa Unified School District

Maura Baldiga + Anna Maier PLUS Report, 2014

To strategically plan for the implementation of a full-service community schools initiative, this project sought to identify existing programs at school sites in WCCUSD and analyze how the distribution of services aligns with local needs.

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Building Healthy Communities: Tracking Change + Transformation in Sacramento

Megan Calpin + Maira Sanchez PLUS Report, 2014

In 2010, The California Endowment (TCE) launched a 10-year, $1 billion Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative in 14 target communities across the state. South Sacramento was one of these selected target areas. This report looks at what changes have been catalyzed by Sacramento Building Healthy Communities investments in SCUSD on institutional practice and policy at the District level related to food access and school culture.

Download Poster 1: Collaboration Through Partnerships

Download Poster 2: Positive Culture in Schools

Download Poster 3: Food Access in Schools


Sustainable communities need opportunity-rich schools: a smart growth imperative

Jeffrey M. Vincent and Deborah L. McKoy

This paper was chosen for Smart Growth Network's compendium, The National Conversation on the Future of Our Communities, in February 2013. The project's aim is to start a conversation on thorny issues the smart growth movement has yet to resolve, issues that have received too little attention, and issues that have escaped us altogether. Our paper argues that planners—and particularly those that favor smart growth—already recognize the importance of workforce development and job creation, but too often fall short of extending their analysis and planning to a key foundation of strong regional economies: effective K-12 schools. We lay out a applied policy framework for remedying this reality.

View the full compendium


Community data to Inform Portfolio Management, Aid Principals

Sachin Jain PLUS Report, 2013

This report was born out of a project that seeks to aid in generating a comprehensive understanding of changes in enrollment, the impact that various programs have on enrollment, community perception, community preferences and the impact that the Options Process can play in all of this.


Community Outreach in School restructuring

Jocelyn Everroad PLUS Report, 2012

In the summer of 2009, Oakland Unified School District (“OUSD”, “the District”) was returned to local governance after six years of State control, with Dr. Tony Smith as its new Superintendent. Despite fiscal challenges, the administration embarked on a year of listening sessions, followed by a yearlong collaborative planning effort that culminated in a shared strategic vision for the District. In the summer and fall of 2011, OUSD began a restructuring process. The goal was to “expand quality and release resources” and included the possibility of closing, consolidating, or reconfiguring a subset of the District’s schools. As a result the Board approved a number of schools for closure and consolidation on October 26, 2011, including five elementary schools. As in other cities, the decision was contentious. 


Framing the Connections: Integrating Housing, Transportation, and Education in City and Regional Planning

Deborah L. McKoy and Jeffrey M. Vincent

In this chapter, we describe efforts to connect efforts to improve public education to housing and transportation planning initiatives, particularly through collaborative city-school-regional partnerships. The chapter appears in the 2011 report, "Finding Common Ground: Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration.by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) and the National Coalition on School Diversity (Philip Tegeler, Editor, pg 53-60).


TRAINING FOR PRINCIPALS AND ORIENTATION FOR PROVIDERS in Oakland Unified School District

Seenae Chong + Tracey Logan PLUS Report, 2010

This report explores methods of creating partnerships between schools, non-school supports and community organizers by looking at OUSD's Complementary Learning Department.


EAST OAKLAND BUILDING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE

Sarah Sullivant PLUS Report, 2010

To address the fragmentation of Oakland's public schools, this report recommends developing a shared vision at the school and district levels and incorporating service partners into the life and culture of school sites.


Oakland Unified School District's Complimentary Learning initiative: Educational Equity and Achievement through Collaboration

Jane Nicholson & Mara Larsen-Fleming 2009 PLUS Report


Youth Data Archive: Oakland Unified School District

Lynn Wu, Diana Lee + Kirsten Vital 2008 PLUS Report


A Full-Service Community School District in West Contra Costa County, California

Roza Do 2013 PLUS Report


Aligning the Healthy Richmond Project with West Contra Costa Unified School District goals

Roza Do 2012 PLUS Report


City/School district oordinated Information and Knowledge SharinG: City of San Pablo and West Contra Costa Unified School District, California 

Reino Makkonen 2010 PLUS Report


Helms Community SchooL Creation: West Contra Costa UniFied School District

2010 PLUS Report


Data-Sharing for Systems ChangE: City of San Pablo and West Conta Costa Unified School District, California

Erika Tate 2008 PLUS Report


Aligning Neighborhood, Education, and Public Health Initiatives 

Joseph Schuchter 2013 PLUS Report

Using a range of research methods, this report examines broadly the alignment of the full portfolio of BHC grantees and in particular the interface between community-based organizations and schools. It finds that the majority of grantees – two-thirds – share some youth development objective. 


Interagency collaboration to Address Barriers to Student Learning

Paul Perry 2010 PLUS Report


Creating a Collaborative Model through Practice ResearcH: City of Berkeley and Berkeley Unified School District

Kristen Ferris, Angela Gallegos-Castillo & Lisa Warhuus 2009 PLUS Report


Sustaining Authentic Community Engagement Through Collaborative Governance: EmeryVille, California

Adrianne Wheeler 2010 PLUS Report


Emeryville Center for Community Life

2009 PLUS Report


Engaging Youth in City-School Collaboration: Emeryville and Berkeley, California

Laura Henry & Alissa Kronovet 2008 PLUS Report


PROMISING PRACTICES TO IMPROVE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES: A SURVEY OF HIGHLY COLLABORATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION REFORM EFFORTS 

Heather Kinlaw, Deborah L. McKoy, and Jeffrey M. Vincent, 2007

CC&S conducted dozens of interviews with city governments, school districts, foundations, and national, regional, and local non-profits and community-based organizations to provide a concise summary of innovative efforts that draw on resources from many stakeholders to achieve optimal outcomes for students and to put education in the center of a broader program of community change, particularly regarding low-income communities and their schools. The following report represents the result of this work.

Download Executive Summary (PDF)


SCHOOLS AS CENTER OF COMMUNITY: HOW EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA IS TRANSFORMING ITS SCHOOLS AND CITY POLICIES BY PLACING EDUCATION AT THE HEART OF REDEVELOPMENT

Center for Cities + Schools Forum with Tony Smith and John Flores, Fall 2005

Superintendent Tony Smith and City Manager John Flores gave a conversational-like talk, taking turns telling bits of the Emeryville story from each of their perspectives. In this 1.2 square mile city by the bay, the school district, the city, community members, and local businesses are working jointly to craft a redevelopment plan that puts education at the heart. Such a vision necessitates “out-of-the-box” thinking, overcoming decades of distrust between different groups, and crafting a creative atmosphere that enables diverse stakeholders to come together and envision what could be.