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Middle school student being checked by a nurse at a health event

Community Schools

Community Schools

Community schools are an evidence-based strategy to advance equity and reduce barriers to learning by providing the services needed to support student and family well-being. Through trusting relationships and well-coordinated supports, community schools ensure that students receive the health, social service, and learning opportunities they need to be successful. The Learning Policy Institute conducts and translates critical research on community schools to support education policymakers and practitioners who are implementing this strategy. Research on community schools and the science of learning and development identifies key characteristics of high-quality community schools: (1) integrated systems of support, (2) empowering student and family engagement, (3) collaborative leadership with shared power and voice, (4) expanded and enriched learning opportunities, (5) rigorous, community-connected classroom instruction, and (6) a culture of belonging, safety, and care. Evidence shows that when community schools are implemented well, they can lead to improvements in student outcomes, including attendance, academic achievement, high school graduation rates, and reduced racial and economic achievement gaps.