1. Advancing equity – We know that community schools are not just a collection of services but a comprehensive racial equity strategy for school and community improvement. We commit to re-claiming community schools as an equity strategy – not a school improvement strategy as defined by the DOE. As such, we affirm that:
    1. The community school strategy results in shared power, information and influence, and allows communities to DO school differently by engaging the community’s strength, cultural worldviews and knowledge to inform decision-making at the school-level
    2. The community school strategy requires schools to assess student, family, school and community strengths and needs to better engage the entire community in the successful education of all of our students
    3. Community schools see school as a community institution – capable of building community – through robust collaboration to achieve more and better outcomes for students and the neighborhood the school serves.
    4. Racial integration
    5. Tie into School Diversity Advisory Group report
    6. Position community schools as equity strategy in NYC
  2. Contract Approval and Procurement Advocacy – Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) have been an integral piece to the success of this initiative. In order to sustain these gains in schools, CBO’s need to get compensated for services rendered within a reasonable amount of time. Some steps the Coalition have taken:
      1. Scheduling meetings with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss the continued funding of Community Schools (specifically CSGI schools)
      2. Members on the Coalition participating on the Non-Profit Advocacy Committee – a cohort created specifically to discuss how NYC can improve business relations with nonprofits in a more organized and systematic way
      3. Working with the Office of Community Schools (OCS) to get contracts approved in a more timely manner (sp. 21st CCLC contracts)
  1. Extended Learning Time (ELT) – Continued advocacy for sustained funding for the remaining 71 schools that were formerly a part of the Renewal/RISE program and now a part of the Comprehensive School Support Strategy (CSSS)
  1. Collaboration and engagement — community schools are places where the norms of systems can and should be questioned. As such, we are committed to continued radical collaboration and engagement with schools to advance our belief that this is the best and more powerful way to improve outcomes for all students — Schools cannot do this alone and norms need to be questioned.
    1. Regular, candid, collaborative and engaged community leadership is at the core of this work and needs to be continuously managed at the school level by both DOE and external partners. As such, the CCSE is committed to elevating concerns with the DOE and others to sustain this type of engagement over time.
    2. The norms of the system are to engage CBO partners as vendors and keep community stakeholders on the margins of power and decision-making. This coalition is committed to calling out siloed decision-making and failure to engage communities and CBOs as equal partners at the table at every level in the system.
  2. Sustaining the robust, multi-pronged community school strategy in NYC
    1. Sustaining – not just a political moment, but a movement to DO school better now and always in NYC.
    2. Robust – speak up for full-service community schools as the goal and guard against a dilution of the strategy (e.g. more than just a collection of programs in a school)
    3. Advocate for the blended and sustained funding – Pre K matters, After School matters, etc.
    4. Calling for definitions of progress and success beyond measures associated with school turn-around that reflect the racial equity work and the radical collaboration in community schools.

This unique partnership of diverse organizations recognizes the enormous importance of the Community Schools Initiative and is committed to throwing the collective weight of our organizations behind its success in this next phase.