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Citation:Coalition for Community Schools. (2000). A policy approach to create and sustain community schools: Promoting policies that strengthen schools, families and communities. Washington, DC: Coalition for Community Schools.

This document is addressed to partners in the Coalition for Community Schools and others who are developing policy options for strengthening community schools. Intending to serve as a template for dialogues about community schools, it describes ten different community school programs and six major policy issues that affect community schools. The policy issues addressed are universality and equity; accountability for results; governance; financing; staffing and professional development; and family, youth, and community involvement. One of the interesting ideas described is that for the 50 years community schools have been around in one form or another, they have been implemented as islands in systems of schools that generally operate without involving other organizations. Now, communities and states are working to develop systems of community schools so that services, supports, and opportunities are widely available to students, their families, and communities. These emerging approaches require that communities work together as never before. Another trend in the community school movement is that while the critical importance of improving academic achievement is a major emphasis, community schools are working for other results as well. For many parents and community members, academic achievement is closely related to personal and social development. Community schools employ strategies to achieve broad developmental outcomes as a necessary condition for academic achievement. Practitioners and policymakers interested in development of community-school concepts will find this paper to be well-organized and articulate in presenting the mounting evidence of community schools' effectiveness in improving academic and social results for students.

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