A community school is a public school that is the hub of its neighborhood and strengthens the entire community by combining top-quality academics with on-site health and social services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn.


High-quality curriculum that includes arts, sports and enrichment, expanded school day and strong supports for teachers. Medical, dental and mental health services right at the school. Mentoring, counseling, adult education, ESL and job training. Strong partnerships with parents and community, who help design and plan the community school according to its resources and needs.

Bushwick Community School

Campaign News

Understanding Mayor de Blasio’s community school initiative

In late 2014, Make the Road was chosen to help develop one of the first 45 community schools under a new initiative of Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Department of Education. This community school initiative relies on vibrant partnerships between schools and community organizations to develop a more holistic approach to education by providing comprehensive services and supports to students and building stronger relationships with students’ families and the community as a whole.
As the official community partner of the Bushwick Campus high schools, MRNY will assist in the transformation of the Campus into “community schools,” creating a supportive educational space that is integrated into student’s lives, families, and the community in meaningful and generative ways. The community-based participatory action research documented on this website will support this process of transformation, providing the foundation of an
evidence base that can directly inform the new community schools.

What are your ideas for Bushwick Community School?

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Community Schools Around the Country

FREE LA High School

Youth Justice Coalition High School

For nearly all of us at the Youth Justice Coalition, our push into the juvenile injustice system began with our push out of school. On the street without a degree, youth find few options but the dangerous underground economy – at risk of death, injury, incarceration and deportation. Nationwide, 80 percent of the people in prison don’t have a high school diploma. In the fall of 2007, the YJC founded FREE L.A. High School – (Fight for the Revolution that Will Educate and Empower Los Angeles) – for youth ages 16 to 24 to:

1. Build stronger youth leadership and increase students’ core academic skills through a curriculum that trains young people in direct action organizing, campaign research, media and
communications, activist arts, public policy development and advocacy, and transformative justice (to heal from violence and to prevent future violence).

2. Support the youth development and educational needs of YJC members and other youth. FREE L.A. High School serves as an alternative to detention and incarceration for youth who face confinement, an educational site for youth who have been suspended or expelled from schools or entire districts, a school for youth returning home from lock-ups, and a more respectful and smaller program for youth who have left traditional schools discouraged.

The James & Grace Lee Boggs School

“Our ultimate end must be the creation of the creation of the beloved community.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

The mission of the Boggs School is to nurture creative, critical thinkers who contribute to the well-being of their communities. Our core purpose is to nurture a sense of place and develop a commitment to a better Detroit.

We use a Place Based Education model. PBE is a nationally renowned and research-based model that has facilitated high student achievement in areas like Oakland, Louisville, Boston, Portland, and New York City. BEC will pioneer PBE for low-income students in Detroit. PBE immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. PBE emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the school and local community.

Coalition for Community Schools

The Coalition for Community Schools is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks. Our mission is to advance opportunities for the success of children, families and communities by promoting the development of more, and more effective, community schools. The Coalition for Community Schools believes that strong communities require strong schools and strong schools require strong communities. We envision a future in which schools are centers
of thriving communities where everyone belongs, works together, and succeeds. The Coalition is housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC.

Cincinnati community schools: A model for New York?

After a decade of mayoral control, there is growing frustration that New York City has not taken more advantage of the potential to concentrate services at schools and strengthen community ties.

And so the UFT has just issued an invitation to schools to try out the Cincinnati model, with a start-up grant from the UFT and the City Council. “We want to replicate their best practices,” Alford said. This means grassroots community building, reaching beyond the schoolhouse door to fold in health services, job resources, translation services, help navigating city bureaucracies — whatever the community identifies as its needs.

Beacon Community Schools


Children’s Aid Society


A Community School is a strategy for organizing the resources of the school and the community around student success. It is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone —all day, evenings and Saturdays, year round.


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