New York City’s Bid for Community Schools

The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) opened its first community schools in 1992 and 1993 in the Washington Heights section of New York City to offer expanded social services and academic supports to its significant immigrant population. Since then, the organization has slowly expanded throughout some of the highest-poverty neighborhoods in the city, including East Harlem, the South Bronx and State Island. Today CAS collaborates with 19 community schools that are based on a “developmental triangle” of strong academic instruction, enrichment opportunities, and an array of health and social services designed to remove barriers to students’ success.

Then in 2014, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged $150 million to 94 “renewal schools” over the next two years, which added instructional time, professional teacher training, summer school programs and health/mental health services. The New York Times has recently published several interesting articles about the successes, challenges and research at these and other community schools throughout the country, and I will continue to post this information. Given New York City’s size and the scale of resources (now $400 million) devoted to the community school model, other communities are keeping close watch on its developments. Below are a few of the most recent articles about community schools in New York City.

For more information about the concept and fundamentals of community schools:

-Carolyn Birbiglia

Free Back to School Wardrobes for Eligible Providence County Children

Clothes to Kids RI is a new non-profit that will offer free school wardrobes to children (ages 5-18) living in Providence County with proof of free/reduced lunch eligibility or an accepted referral letter. The wardrobe includes:

  • 5 tops
  • 5 pairs of new underwear
  • 5 pairs of new socks
  • 4 bottoms–shorts, pants or skirts
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 coat or jacket
  • 1 dress (optional)

Please visit for further information or to make an appointment. The store will be open from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in August, as well as Saturday, August 20.

Reading Room

August 22, 2016
Erie set to launch community school pilot program in

August 16, 2016
Community schools partnership works to embrace Milwaukee's children in On Milwaukee

August 9, 2016
NEA publishes article in support of community schools in NEA Today

August 6, 2016
David Kirp on school health services and NY community schools in The New York Times

August 2, 2016
Dallas community schools and politics in The Dallas Observer

July 2016
How marginalized families are pushed out of PTAs in The Atlantic

July 13, 2016
Pittsburgh School Board to vote on 'community schools' approach in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 26, 2016
Kids Count reports RI ranks 27th in child well-being in Providence Business Journal

June 24, 2016
Kids Count reports more RI kids in poverty but fewer uninsured in RI NPR

June 23, 2016
How community schools can beat summer learning loss in SFGate

June 6, 2016
When half of the pupils are homeless, schools serve important role in The New York Times

May 22, 2016
The lifetime benefits of early childhood parental supports and home visits in The New York Times

May 18, 2016
Community schools in NY find creative ways to boost attendance in DNAinfo

May 4, 2016
"Place-based" work helps students in rural Kentucky in HomeRoom: The Official Blog of the US Department of Education

April 29, 2016
Community schools seen as way out for some schools in NY state receivership in

April 13, 2016
Philadelphia officials discuss April’s national community schools conference in Albuquerque: momentum clearly gaining in Philadelphia Public Schools "The Notebook"

April 4, 2016
Albuquerque finds success with its 20 community schools in The Albuquerque Journal

March 23, 2016
Philadelphia mayor plans to establish 25 community schools over next four years in

March 11, 2016
The Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, Martin Blank, comments on the potential impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in The Washington Post

March 10, 2016
The Coalition for Community Schools publishes its latest research paper, “Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools”

March 1, 2016
New York State sets $250 million funding goal for community schools

February 22, 2016
Two superintendents discuss community school successes and lessons

February 11, 2016
David Denby of The New Yorker urges an increase in health and social services to improve student outcomes

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Map of Rhode Island’s Community Schools