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A partner in finding partners

Administrators who don’t feel their staffs have the time to manage community programs have contracted with outside groups to organize and oversee services.

Communities in Schools, which partners with about 400 districts in 25 states, has been helping administrators provide non-academic supports to students in high-need schools for about 40 years, says Gary Chapman, the nonprofit’s executive vice president for business development.

A school provides about two-thirds of the funding to bring a full-time Communities in Schools coordinator into the building. The nonprofit generates the rest of the funding from community organizations and private donors.


Link to main story: Schools provide community coverage


The coordinator’s first step is to help a school conduct a needs assessment to determine what services to offer. The organization also provides extensive data tracking to make sure the supports are having the intended impact.

Schools in its network have shown increases in graduation and attendance, higher fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores, and a reduction in dropouts, Chapman adds.

“We’re accelerating how much a district can do on its own,” Chapman says.


Matt Zalaznick is senior associate editor.