Social Media Toolkit: Community Schools and COVID-19 Recovery

May 18, 2021 | Last updated July 30, 2021

In the past year, students, families, and educators have experienced trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further exposed and exacerbated educational inequity, from unequal access to tech for distance learning to structural barriers to basic resources—like nutrition, housing, and health care—that support students' ability to learn. As a result, there are many acute needs to be fulfilled over the summer and into the new school year.

With billions of dollars of federal relief funding coming in, state and district leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to address the short-term needs associated with the pandemic and to invest in long-term structural changes that will make schools more equitable and whole-child focused. Community schools offer an approach to achieve both of these goals by coordinating the many resources that are starting to flood into districts and schools, thereby helping students and families to access and benefit from those resources.

This toolkit helps to explain the opportunity to implement and expand community schools in response to immediate needs, as well as about what community schools are and what they can achieve. It includes research, blogs, examples, and other resources sharing more information about community schools.

Sample Tweets

Community Schools in the Current Context

These sample messages tie the community schools approach to the current context of COVID-19 recovery and relief funding. You can post them as standalone messages, include a link to one of the community school resources on this page or below, or link to your own community schools resource.

  • In the past year, students, families, & educators have experienced trauma from the #COVID19 pandemic, resulting in acute needs to be addressed over the summer and into the new school year and beyond. The #CommunitySchools approach can help.
  • #COVID19 exposed & exacerbated educational inequity, from unequal access to distance learning tech to structural barriers to basic needs (food, housing, healthcare) that allow students to learn. The #CommunitySchools approach can support recovery & equity.
  • With billions of dollars of federal relief funding coming, states have an unprecedented opportunity to create a coordinated, cohesive, & equitable education system that supports the whole child. #CommunitySchools are an evidence-based approach to consider. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/project/community-schools
  • Right now, state & local policymakers have the opportunity to invest in an evidence-based approach to equitable school improvement by using funds from ARPA to launch or scale up #CommunitySchools. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/community-schools-equitable-improvement-brief
  • Funding a patchwork of siloed programs won't be fully effective in helping students, families, & schools recover from the many needs left by the pandemic. The #CommunitySchools approach coordinates funds & targets services to meet specific needs in communities.
  • #CommunitySchools provide the infrastructure to coordinate federal, state, & local funds to quickly and effectively mobilize support services in response to local needs of students and families.
  • State & district leaders have an unprecedented opportunity and responsibility to address the short-term needs from the pandemic and invest in long-term structural change to make schools more equitable & whole-child focused. #CommunitySchools can do both.
  • #CommunitySchools can help accelerate learning to address lost instructional time caused by the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted students of color, students from low-income families, & other underserved students.

Resources on Community Schools

RESEARCH

Download social media graphics of the four community school pillars.

  • The four pillars of #CommunitySchools:
    ☑️ Integrated student supports
    ☑️ Expanded & enriched learning time
    ☑️ Family & community engagement
    ☑️ Collaborative leadership & practices
    Find @LPI_Learning research on this approach: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/project/community-schools

Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School: A Community School That Honors Its Neighborhood’s Legacy of Educational Justice

  • It takes a village to mitigate the impact of systemic disinvestment on students & families in low-income and immigrant communities. At Mendez High School, the village takes the form of a #CommunitySchool and includes 30+ community partners. @LPI_Learning http://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/shared-learning-mendez

Social Justice Humanitas: A Community School Approach to Whole Child Education

  • The American Rescue Plan Act provides $122 billion that can be used to support #CommunitySchool programs. See how one successful community school is structured to improve outcomes and support whole child learning in @LPI_Learning case study. @SJHACCLA https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/social-and-emotional-learning-case-study-humanitas-report

Leveraging Resources Through Community Schools: The Role of Technical Assistance

  • District and county-level coordination of #CommunitySchools provides the infrastructure needed to blend and braid resources and leverage assets to better serve students. Brief via @LPI_Learning. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/leveraging-resources-community-schools-technical-assistance-brief

Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative (RAND Corporation)

  • [email protected] designed the New York #CommunitySchools Initiative as a holistic strategy for improving student outcomes in more than 260 schools. This @RANDCorporation report assesses the initiative’s impact, finding positive effects in multiple areas. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3245.html

Community Schools: A COVID-19 Recovery Strategy (Policy Analysis for California Education)

  • The #CommunitySchools approach has emerged as a promising way to mitigate the social & learning impacts of COVID-19. @edpolicyinca brief explores this model as a lever for transforming instructional practices & relationships within classrooms & schools. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/community-schools

BLOGS

County-Level Coordination Provides Infrastructure, Funding for Community Schools Initiative

  • A community school is both a place & a set of partnerships between the ed. system, nonprofits, & local government. This @LPI_Learning blog explores how one CA county has established cross-sector partnerships to support students. @lacommunityscho https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/covid-county-coordination-community-schools

In the Fallout of the Pandemic, Community Schools Show a Way Forward for Education

  • #CommunitySchools have responded effectively to COVID-19 thanks to relationships & infrastructure already in place to support students & families. As we begin to reimagine schools, policymakers can look to this highly effective, research-based approach. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/covid-community-schools-show-way-forward-education

TOOLS & RESOURCES

Investing in Community Schools: How States and Districts Can Use Federal Recovery Funds Strategically

  • [email protected]_Learning details how federal recovery funds can be used to implement #CommunitySchools to provide a wide range of coordinated supports/services for young people & their families. #AmericanRescuePlan https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/federal-funds-cs

Frequently Asked Questions: Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Full-Service Community Schools & Related Strategies (U.S. Department of Education)

  • Interested in using #CommunitySchools to support students & families? This @usedgov guidance explains how to use recovery aid to support community schools & related strategies. Read the FAQs: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/07/21-0138-ARP-Community-Schools-OMB-and-OS-Approved-071421-1.pdf

Community Schools Playbook (Partnership for the Future of Learning)

  • #CommunitySchools are both academic and social centers where educators, families, & community come together to learn, grow, and thrive. Watch the overview video below and then dive deeper with this playbook from @future4learning: http://bit.ly/csplaybook https://youtu.be/5dTXujuJRc0

Financing Community Schools (Partnership for the Future of Learning)

  • [email protected] designed a framework for financing #CommunitySchools that centers growth and sustainability. Read the brief: https://futureforlearning.org/2020/04/16/financing-community-schools/

Community School Site Level and Initiative Level Standards (Coalition for Community Schools)

  • "Community School Standards" from @Commschools defines best practices for designing standards-driven #CommunitySchools focused on promoting equity and education excellence for all students. http://www.communityschools.org/resources/community_schools_standards_.aspx 

Addressing Education Inequality With a Next Generation of Community Schools: A Blueprint for Mayors, States, and the Federal Government (Brookings Institution)

  • #CommunitySchools integrate, rather than silo, the services that children and families need and ensure that funding is well spent and effective. @BrookingsGlobal has a blueprint for mayors, states, and the federal government to help scale them: https://www.brookings.edu/research/addressing-education-inequality-with-a-next-generation-of-community-schools-a-blueprint-for-mayors-states-and-the-federal-government/