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«Strengthening Partnerships: Community School Assessment Checklist STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS: COMMUNITY SCHOOL ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST In many ...»

Strengthening Partnerships:

Community School

Assessment Checklist




In many communities, partnerships between schools and other community organizations and

agencies are helping to create supports that enable children and youth to learn and succeed and

help families and communities to thrive. These partnerships bring together diverse individuals and groups, including principals, teachers, school superintendents, school boards, community-based organizations, youth development organizations, health and human service agencies, parents and other community leaders, to expand opportunities for children, families, and communities.

Creating a successful community school partnership is a complex, challenging, and time-consuming task. To be effective, partnerships need to engage in a thoughtful process to define a vision and clear goals. Partnerships need to have effective governance and management structures to ensure that programs operate efficiently and the partnership is responsive to community needs. Community school partnerships also need to draw from a broad range of perspectives and expertise—from inside the school as well as from other organizations and individuals within the community. Finally, community school partnerships need to connect, coordinate, and leverage resources from a variety of sources to support and continue their work.

This tool contains a series of checklists to assist school and community leaders in creating and/or strengthening community school partnerships.

The first checklist helps you to assess the development of your community school partnership.

s The second checklist helps you to take inventory of existing programs and services in or connected s to your school that support children, youth, families, and other community residents.

The third checklist helps you to catalogue the funding sources that support these programs s and services.

Once completed, these checklists can serve as a planning tool to develop strategies to strengthen your partnership, improve coordination of existing programs and services, and/or to expand current levels of support.

By Martin J. Blank and Barbara Hanson Langford September 2000 I. Community School Partnership Assessment Building and maintaining effective community school partnerships requires dedicated time and ongoing attention to the collaborative process. This checklist focuses on the process of bringing partners together and working to achieve desired results. This checklist can help partnerships to focus on, assess, and improve the quality of their collaborative efforts.

Our partnership has developed a clear vision.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Agree Our partnership has collaboratively identified the results we want to achieve for children, youth, families, and our community.

–  –  –

Our partnership has successfully engaged a broad base of partners from a range of individuals and organizations representing the school and the community.

–  –  –

Our partnership has developed strategies for coordinating and linking the array of supports and opportunities for children, youth, families, and community members that are available at or connected to the school.

–  –  –

Our partnership has established a clear organizational structure. Our partnership has agreed upon the roles that individual partners will play, and ensured that all partners understand and accept the responsibilities of those roles.

–  –  –

All partners involved in our community school have an understanding of who the other partners are, what organizations they come from, and what those organizations do.

–  –  –

Our partnership has identified and mobilized resources (financial and other) from partner organizations and other entities throughout the community.

Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Agree II. Community School Program and Service Checklist An important first step for school and community leaders seeking to create or expand community school partnerships is to assess the broad range of resources that are currently available within or connected to their school. Some of these programs and services may be directly supported by the school; others may be supported by community organizations and agencies. This checklist helps you to take inventory of the programs and services already administered by the school and its partners. Once you know what programs and services exist, your challenge is to make sure these programs and services are strategically coordinated to achieve desired results and to identify new programs and services that may be needed.

–  –  –




Academic Enrichment/ Tutoring/Remedial Education Arts, Music, and Cultural Programs Before- and/or After-School Programs Community Service/ Service Learning Conflict Resolution Family Life/Personal Skills/ Teen Parenting Programs Literacy Mentoring Recreation/Sports School Nurse Substance Abuse and/or Violence Prevention Programs Other

–  –  –


Adult Education/ GED/Literacy Parenting Education Health Education Health Care and/or Dental Services Early Care and Education/ Pre-K/Head Start Job Training Substance Abuse Prevention Violence Prevention Mental Health Services Family Support Center Other Other III. Community School Funding Source Assessment Once you’ve taken inventory of the current programs and services operating in or connected to your school, the next step is to identify the sources of funding that support these services. In some cases, funding may come from federal, state, or local government agencies. In other cases, funding may come from private sources, such as community-based organizations or private foundations. This assessment can be used to catalogue existing funding sources that support a community school as well as to identify new funding sources to expand current programs and services.

–  –  –

School and/or School District (i.e. Title I) Community-Based Organizations (i.e. YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, faith-based organizations) Universities and Colleges (i.e. work study or service learning students, professional development training) Federal Funds (i.e. food and nutrition funds, 21st Century Learning Community Learning Centers, VISTA, AmeriCorp) State Funds (i.e. funds from state departments of education, health and/or human services, and juvenile justice) City or County Funds (i.e. funds from local departments of human services, parks and recreation, and juvenile justice) Private Foundations (i.e. local community foundations, national foundations) Private Businesses PTA Participation Fees Other


Strengthening Community School Partnerships The Collaborative Wellness Kit, Together We Can, Institute for Improving Results for Children, Youth and Families: A Educational Leadership, 202-822-8405. Comprehensive Guide to Ideas and Help: “Where the Tube Hits the Road: Providing Services, Supports and Opportunities that Improve A Compact for Learning: An Action Handbook for Family-School- the Lives of Children, Youth, and Families,” Karen Pittman & Community Partnerships, Partnership for Family Involvement in Michele Cahill, Center for Youth Development and Policy Research.

Education & US Department of Education, 800-USA-LEARN. Vol. I., 202-884-8404.

Creating A Community Agenda: How Governance Partnerships Can Making the MOST of Out-of-School Time: The Human Side of Improve Results for Children, Youth, and Families. Center for the Quality, 11 min. video. National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Study of Social Policy, Washington, D.C., 1998, 217-371-1565. 1998, www.niost.org or 781-283-2510.

Getting to the Grassroots: Neighborhood Organizing and The NSACA Standards for Quality School-Age Care, edited by Mobilization. A Matter of Commitment—Community Janette Roman, National School-Age Care Alliance, www.nsaca.org Collaboration Guidebook Series #6, Charles Bruner & Maria or 617-298-5012.

Chavez, NCSI Clearinghouse, 1997, 515-280-9027.

Where the Kids Are: How to Work with Schools to Create Learning Together: The Developing Field of School-Community Elementary School-Based Health Centers, National Health and Initiatives, Atelia Melaville and Martin J. Blank, The Charles Education Consortium, c/o the Institute for Educational Leadership, Stewart Mott Foundation, 1998, 800-645-1766. 202-822-8405.

Partnership Self-Assessment Tool and Guide to Successful Public- Youth Development: A Primer, Wanda E. Fleming & Elaine Private Partnerships for Child Care, Child Care Partnership Project, Johnson, Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, 1996, nccic.org/ccpartnerships or 202-628-4200. 202-884-8267.

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The Coalition for Community Schools mobilizes the resources and capacity of multiple sectors and institutions to create a united movement for community schools. The Coalition brings together local, state and national organizations that represent individuals and groups engaged in creating and sustaining community schools, including parents, youth, community residents, teachers, principals, school superintendents and boards, youth development and community-based organizations, neighborhood associations, civic groups, higher education, business, government, and private funders. The coalition disseminates information, connects people and resources, and educates the general public.

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) staffs the Coalition for Community Schools. IEL — a non-profit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C. — has provided policy and leadership assistance to people and institutions to work

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