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Becoming a Community School: A Study of Oakland Unified School District Community School Implementation, 2015-2016

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is engaged in the process of becoming a “full service community schools district.”  Since 2014, OUSD has partnered with the Gardner Center to support their efforts to assess, enhance, and scale their community schools work.

Full Service Community Schools in the Oakland Unified School District

A longitudinal, multi-methods research project examining early outcomes and ongoing implementation of Oakland Unified School District’s Full Service Community Schools Initiative.  Findings inform district leaders’ efforts to scale-up and develop implementation strategies to achieve OUSD’s long-term ambition to become the nation’s first full service community schools district.

Data Use and Inquiry in Research-Practice Partnerships: Four Case Examples

The four case examples presented in this brief are drawn from the Gardner Center’s substantial experience conducting rigorous research in research-practice partnerships. The first case describes a partnership approach that enhances a school district’s capacity to use integrated longitudinal data to tackle persistent problems of practice and monitor students’ development. The second case exemplifies how an equitable research model, grounded in mutualism and sensitive to cultural nuances, can be leveraged to elevate the experience marginalized communities.

Oakland Unified School District Community Schools: Understanding Implementation Efforts to Support Students, Teachers, and Families

In 2010, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) launched an initiative to transform all district schools into full service community schools. The community school design provides integrated supports to students and fosters a school climate conducive to academic, social, and emotional learning. Interventions span in-school and out-of-school time, and include students’ families, to ensure that all students have the supports needed to be ready to learn and to develop the skills, habits, and mindsets that provide a foundation for academic and social success.

The Academic Progress of Alternative School Students Transitioning into Comprehensive High Schools

Students with academic or behavioral problems in the comprehensive high school environment frequently enroll in alternative education schools.  The San Mateo County Office of Education administers two types of alternative schools: Community Schools, which are generally short‐term, voluntary placements for students in need of a smaller, more individualized learning environment, and Court Schools, including a school at juvenile hall and two minimum security camp facilities for students referred by the San Mateo County Probation Department. In this analysis, the Gardner Center examined the tra

A Study of Family Engagement in Redwood City Community Schools

Since 2007, the Redwood City School District (RCSD) and Redwood City 2020 have partnered with the Gardner Center to examine how participation in community school programs shapes students’ outcomes. This brief summarizes the research literature and describes a 2011-2012 study that focused on family engagement practices as well as the factors that promote or inhibit family engagement in five of the district’s community schools. Gardner Center researchers conducted a total of 50 interviews and focus groups with school staff, families, and students.

Improving the Quality and Continuity of Practice across Early Childhood Education and Elementary Community School Settings

Research shows that children experience a smoother transition into elementary school when there is coordination among schools, early childhood education programs, and families. Launched by the Coalition for Community Schools in 2009, the Early Childhood Community Schools Linkages Project supported three regions with a strong community school platform to improve the quality and continuity of practice across community school and early childhood settings (e.g., centers, providers) and systems (e.g., regional leadership, funding, and policy structures). With support from the W.K.

Early Childhood Community Schools Linkages: Advancing a Theory of Change

In 2009, the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership (CCS-IEL) embarked on an ambitious action research and development project, leveraging the community school system infrastructure present in three geographic regions: Tulsa, Oklahoma; Multnomah County, Oregon; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their goal was to advance research and practice around a pre K-3 approach that included strategic partnerships between the elementary community school sector and the early childhood sector.

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