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5 Steps to Kickstarting Community Schools in Your District

Discover how to bring community schools to your district to improve learning and build healthier communities in harmony in five steps.  

Want to unite your community and transform your schools into places where all students can achieve their dreams? Follow these five steps to bring a community school to your district to improve learning and build healthier communities in harmony.

These steps are also available in a printable PDF format here.

Kickstart Community Schools in Five Steps

  1. Build Chapter Leader Support - Local leaders understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Executive Board and/or Rep Council resolutions.
  2. Build Member Support - Members understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Rep Council Resolution, Site-visits
  3. Build Community Support - Families and the community understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Community Town Halls, Home Visits
  4. Build an Agreement for Collaborative Planning - District commits to an open, inclusive planning process. Ex: District signs MOU agreeing to engage with interest-holders in planning meetings.
  5. Build Structures for Shared Decision-Making - District commits to permanent, ongoing, and inclusive shared decision-making governance structures. Ex: Permanent contract language describing the Community School steering committee.

Apply to be part of the Community Schools Implementation Institute!

The NEA Implementation Institute for Community Schools (Implementation Institute) is a network of community schools committed to a transformational community-driven process.  The institute supports participants through monthly PLC meetings, customized trainings, coaching for local district and site teams, and access to a step-by-step guide to developing community schools.

To begin connecting with the Implementation Institute, please tell us a little bit more about your Community School goals, efforts, and aspirations, so that we can determine how best to support you and your team! 

Note: If your district/site has already been participating in the NEA CS Implementation Institute, and you just need to add new individuals from district/site teams, please use this form instead

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  • Status of Your Community School Work - DISTRICT LEVEL
  • Status of Your Community School Work - SCHOOL LEVEL
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What Stakeholder Group do you Represent?

More Resources to Help You Get Started

illustration of a schoolhouse surrounded by paths connecting to a career center, health clinic, and other building with lots of people walking between the buildings

CTA Community Schools 5-Step Toolkit

Dive into the 5 steps in more detail in this resource guide from the California Teachers Association.
illustration of academic icons like a microscope, book, graduation mortarboard and more, all connected by lines

Strengthening Public Schools for Student Success: School Board Policies and Resolutions

NEA put together this collection of sample resolutions and policies based on best practices identified throughout the country.
Teacher with young students

Model State Legislation

Language for 10 model bills states can use to continue to codify ESSA and keep its focus on equity and opportunity for all students, no matter what zip code they live in.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.