Community Schools

Better education starts with community engagement

While classroom-based education reform is important, it cannot, on its own, solve the educational problems our country faces.

In order for kids to succeed, these reforms must be paired with family and community engagement, as well as genuine efforts to improve a school’s climate for learning.

That’s what community schools do.

In this model, community services that students and their families may need are available through the school. These services can include:

  • Mental, dental, and general health care
  • Extended-day childcare
  • Tutoring and mentoring
  • College and career help
  • Preschool education
  • Adult education
  • Parent engagement programs

In short, they bring community partners together to ensure students and families get the support they need to help their children have a successful academic career, graduate from high school, and enter the world prepared for college or a career.

Community schools bring community partners together to ensure students and families get the support they need.

Community schools in action

In 2010, we launched the Martindale-Brightwood Alliance for Success (MBAES), which brought three Indianapolis Public School system schools into the community schools model.

We collaborate with almost 40 community partners to maximize the educational opportunities available to students and their families in IPS 69, IPS 56, and IPS 51.

Families have a wide range of services available to them and new programs are being developed all the time.

Explore MBAES

Our partners in the community school movement

We are partnering with Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership to continue to advance university-assisted community schools in our area.

Together, we work to develop Community Assets United for School Excellence (CAUSE) Councils. These councils unite and organize community resources around the goal of supporting student, community, and school success.

We also help schools:

  • Create agendas that support school community goals
  • Review relevant data
  • Identify student and family needs
  • Secure access to support within their neighborhoods to address identified needs

Let us help you get started

Since 2011, we’ve offered a wide array of services to help schools, neighborhoods, institutions of higher education, and other key stakeholders implement community school strategies.

We can help you by offering:

  • Customized workshops and training
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Project evaluation
  • Connections to health, human services, and workforce readiness opportunities
  • Asset/needs assessment

To find out more, contact Jim Grim, Director of Community School Partnerships, at