Since 2006, Redwood City School District has partnered with the Gardner Center to examine annual patterns of program participation across the six full-service community schools’ key strategy areas of extended learning, family engagement, and support services. By linking students’ academic records, community school program participation records, and survey responses, this analysis yielded several findings: (1) Programs reached a majority of students enrolled in the six community schools, particularly the population of students who were lower-achieving and came from lower-educated and economically disadvantaged families. (2) Students whose families were consistently involved over a number of years in family engagement opportunities had a higher attendance rate than those who were less involved. (3) Students whose families regularly took part in family engagement opportunities and another key strategy area (i.e. either extended learning or supports) demonstrated higher attendance rates than many of their counterparts. (4) Middle school students who engaged in extended learning programs and accessed support services demonstrated a gradual increase in their perceptions of care at school. (5) English Learner students whose families regularly took part in family engagement over several years showed greater gains in their attendance and English language proficiency.
Biag, M. and Castrechini, S. (2014). The links between program participation and students’ outcomes: the Redwood City community schools project. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.