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Examining Student Outcomes Across Programs in Redwood City Community Schools

Sebastian Castrechini
Publication Date: 
October, 2011

In the 2009-10 school year, Redwood City School District’s four community schools provided over 60 programs and supports designed to improve students’ outcomes. The Gardner Center linked program participation records to RCSD data on school outcomes over four years to understand how community schools are moving students toward improved results. The analyses in this report show that the services offered at the community schools reached the majority of enrolled students and provided many with multiple comprehensive supports. Program participation, particularly in family engagement and extended learning opportunities, was related to an increase in feelings of being cared for at school for middle school students. This sense of care is connected to higher school attendance in the short-term and improved academic achievement for program participants in community schools in the long-term. Students whose families engaged in community school services increased their English language development scores relative to non-participants. Students and families who engaged in community school programming began with a higher sense of connectedness at school compared to non-participants, suggesting the importance of reaching out to the families who are not already connected to their schools. Our analyses suggest that there are underlying factors beyond the traditionally used demographic and socioeconomic characteristics that are related to both outcomes and participation, possibly including parent attitudes toward school or participation in outside programs or community organizations.

Publication Type: 
Bay Area
Policy area: 
Families, Communities, and Schools