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1 The Coalition is proud to recognize the amazing work being done at Hartford Community Schools. It is one of two communities in the country winning national recognition from our organization this year. The Hartford community is doing great things in the areas of student participation and attendance in school activities and in fostering greater community participation and parental involvement. Martin Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools Throughout the six years I have worked at Burr, I have noticed the close relationship between teachers, staff, students, and families. These relationships have aided the academic and behavioral growth of many students. The community school model is positive and engaging. It allows staff, children, and families to grow academically and socially, with positive role models guiding their success. I truly enjoy working and being part of a community school! Julie Stevens, Third Grade Teacher, Burr Elementary School I feel my daughter s teachers are awesome and I love the opportunity I have to volunteer in the school. I also appreciate the community school programming that helps encourage my daughters to develop more healthy habits. It takes more than just the teachers and staff to make things better... we need everyone s help. I am happy my daughters attend Asian Studies Academy. Christina Torres, mother of a 2 ASA Bellizzi students (First Grade and Prek) The four founding partners of Hartford Community Schools include the City of Hartford, Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. The partners work together as the Hartford Partnership for Student Success to guide the Hartford Community Schools. They share the common goal of creating synergy among the systemic initiatives already in place at the City s major institutions in order to increase quality, quantity and coordination of support services and resources for children, youth and families. HARTFORD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS A Record of Accomplishments Main Street, 8th Floor Hartford, CT (860)

2 MAKING A DIFFERENCE 90% in the lives of students, their schools, families and community Since 2007, a powerful momentum has been building in Hartford. It started when four of the City s leading institutions Hartford Public Schools, the City of Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut convened a meeting to develop a school reform stragegy. Through their combined knowledge and experience with the national community schools movement, a network of local community schools was born. The four institutions concurred that closing the significant educational achievement gap between Hartford and the state as a whole was a monumental task with huge barriers and that the education of our children goes beyond a single institution. A community-wide effort was required. The efforts of the four institutions started under the name of the School-Community Partnership and later, as the partnership s agenda and district-wide focus broadened, became Hartford Partnership for Student Success. In an initial Memorandum of Understanding, the partners formally memorialized their intent. They agreed to collectively take the lead in establishing a network of community schools and to engage key community constituents in the process. Individually and together they assumed responsibility and accountability for engaging parents/families, Hartford Public Schools employees, school board members, students, corporations and foundations, funders, government, community-based organizations and other supporters in the effort to better prepare students for success in college, careers and as citizens. n The The success of Hartford Community Schools is a big, important and positive story about our city. I m so proud of what has been accomplished in just a few short years. We set the bar high. And now is the right time for our community to build upon our hard won success to raise the bar even higher. Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor, City of Hartford n ver 90% of O students in afterschool programs feel they belong and their ideas are heard and that they matter. n hough safety T is reported as a concern in many schools through other measures, over 90% of Hartford Community Schools students reported feeling safe in their afterschool program. efforts of Hartford Community Schools have improved student reading and math skills; increased student participation and attendance in school activities; and fostered greater community participation and parental involvement.

3 We are all an integral part of Burr s Team, striving forward with compassion, patience, and resilience. We coexist in an extremely caring environment with our students interest of primary importance! Deborah Piotrowski, Physical Education Teacher, Burr Elementary School Funding for Hartford Community Schools Infrastructure Funding: The four founding institutions together fund the infrastructural costs of Hartford Community Schools, which includes staffing, evaluation and training and technical assistance costs to support work in the seven community schools in the district, as well as extending strategies for community involvement across the district. The total amount of these costs for the school year is $426,690; with 28% of the funding being contributed by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 26% by the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, 24% by the City of Hartford-Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation and 22% by Hartford Public Schools. The partnership has engaged a creative means of staffing the community schools work at a citywide level. While all four organizations contribute to the funding of the salaries, the staff people are employees of record with the Hartford Foundation, and are stationed out of the Hartford Public Schools. School-Based Funding: There is a wide range of funding to support services at the school level as well. Each school has developed a blended budget that documents all funding coming into the school community. This budget includes funding from the Hartford Partnership for Student Success institutions, as well as other public and private grants to work within the school. Lead agencies have been creative in securing approval from funders to re-direct programs initially operating at community sites to be delivered within the school. They have utilized state funding streams for child protective services and juvenile-justice-related work in these ways. Lead agencies also are expected to contribute in-kind supports to the school budget. This occurs both through the contribution of a portion of the time of senior management as well as the lending of existing agency services to the community schools. Examples of this include the provision of financial literacy services and parenting training for families of students enrolled in the community school. The budget also reflects sub-contracted services and the funds that additional partner agencies bring into the school building to operate under the umbrella and coordination of the lead agency. This offers a broad picture of the resources present at the school. Hartford Community Schools lead agencies have also utilized reimbursable services as a means of funding community school services. For example, The Village for Families & Children, one of the community school lead agencies, attained the certification necessary to establish satellite clinics at all of the community schools. Clinicians are able to bill insurance, including Husky, the state program for otherwise uninsured children. As a result, the service operates at essentially no cost to the lead agency (other than the initial cost of hiring the clinician and establishing a case load). Sustainability: There have been a number of sustainability strategies implemented to embed the work of community schools within individual institutions and the larger community. In, the board of education adopted a Community Schools Policy to formalize community schools as a part of the district s reform strategy. In the same year, the leadership of the four founding institutions signed the first MOU agreeing to partner in the work and outlining each organization s role. (The MOU has been updated twice since that time to reflect the evolution of the work.) The four lead agencies who partner with the seven community schools all contribute in-kind support and take responsibility for fundraising for their respective community schools. Finally, our funders have integrated this work into their own funding strategies. For the Hartford Foundation, this has meant the establishment of a Community School Initiative, which reflects a long-term commitment to the work, and provides increased funding and staffing to support training, evaluation and emerging needs at the school level. These increased supports are provided with the expectation that the intiative will have lasting systemic and policy change. The United Way has also made shifts in the way funds are both allocated and raised in order to provide greater support to the full development of the community schools model. The United Way allocated new funds as well as helped to bring additional funders on board in order to launch our second cohort, created a Family Financial Support Initiative through its United Way Women s Leadership Council, and hosts a volunteer reading program at two of our community schools. Additional funding sources for programming at Hartford Community Schools include the Connecticut State Department of Education, family, community and corporate foundations, federal and state contracts, and in-kind organizational contributions. n English Language Learner students at Hartford Community Schools improved, statistically significantly, more than non-ell students. This is in comparison to statewide CMT findings in which the gap widened.

4 Partnering Collaborating Coordinating Co-Investing Strengthening Tracking Evaluating Accomplishing Stimulating Leading Engaging Sharing Protecting Evolving Community Schools: The National Model The Coalition for Community Schools is an alliance of more than 170 national, state and local organizations in education that advocates for community schools and recognizes the best practices around the country. Due to its involvement with The Coalition for Community Schools, Hartford has been at the forefront of the national community schools movement. In 2013, Hartford was one of only two communities in the entire country to win a National Award for Excellence from the national coalition. Community schools bring together partners who offer a range of supports and opportunities for children, youth, families, and communities. These partners work together to achieve results in the following areas: children prepared to enter school; students attend school consistently; students are actively involved in learning and in their community; families are involved with their children s education; schools are engaged with families and communities; students succeed academically; students are physically, socially and emotionally healthy; students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment; and communities are desirable places to live. Hartford Community Schools: An Effective Collaboration As members of the school leadership teams, community school directors work hand-in-hand with supportive principals. They are responsible for building relationships with all school staff and community partners, engaging families and community residents, and coordinating an efficient delivery of community resources to students both inside and outside the classroom. Community School Directors and principals lean heavily on data concerning cognitive, social, emotional, and physical factors, as well as family and community circumstances, to drive the work for their schools. Each community school partners with a lead agency that helps to plan, implement and sustain on-site services that provide a holistic approach in the development of children, their families and the wider community. These services include physical and mental health services, youth development beyond regular school hours, life-long learning and enrichment programs for adults (parents and other members of the community), parent engagement in school governance, and civic engagement Four of the City s leading institutions convene to form the School- Community Partnership Hartford Public Schools, the City of Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. These leaders utilize their combined knowledge of and experience with the national community schools movement begin to develop a system-reform strategy. HARTFORD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: MILESTONES Development of the community schools strategy begins with five community schools, previously part of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving s After Schools Initiative. Nonprofit organizations selected to be Lead Agencies for each school with the responsibility of managing the work at the individual school level. The Hartford Board of Education passes a supportive Community Schools Policy. A broader, more holistic focus at the community schools begins to evolve, including physical and mental health services, youth development beyond regular school hours, life-long learning and enrichment programs for parents and other members of the community, parent engagement in school governance, and civic engagement The founding partners create and subscribe to a Memorandum of Understanding of their individual commitments and responsibilities as well as their collective accountability to organize and integrate community resources for student success. The Children s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools begins providing extensive training for convening partners, principals, youth development staff, and lead agency managers.

5 2009 A Hartford Community Schools Director is hired to direct and coordinate overall operations for the four founding partners and the five initial school sites External evaluation begins. Schools begin developing leadership teams to connect community efforts to school priorities. An improved process for data entry and quality monitoring is developed. Community Schools Showcase presents information about the Community Schools to local political leaders and members of the community Two new schools and one new lead agency join the community schools portfolio. The four founding partners discuss the possibility of expanding the scope of its focus to look more broadly at school-community partnerships across the district The founding partners reorganize under the name Hartford Partnership for Student Success with the goal of creating synergy among the systemic initiatives already in place at the City s major institutions in order to increase quality, quantity and coordination of support services and resources for children, youth and families. Hartford Community Schools is selected as one of six national Mind in the Making sites that will receive technical assistance to create and strengthen linkages between early childhood education and the community schools Data from Achieve Hartford! shows increased academic outcomes in the schools. Two new community schools are identified The Collaborative for Building After- School Systems invites Hartford Partnership for Student Success to join its select coalition of leading afterschool intermediary organizations located across the country. A Theory of Change is developed and described by ActKnowledge as the most detailed we have encountered in the community school field. We are very impressed with the level of engagement, knowledge and experience... that the participants brought to the table. Hartford is one of only two communities in the nation to win a National Award of Excellence from the national Coalition for Community Schools. LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE As the Hartford Partnership for Student Success looks to scale up its efforts, it intends to replicate elements of the community school model it has implemented over the past several years at other schools. The leadership team also is moving forward with expanding on-site mental health services, high-quality out-ofschool time programs, and summer programs that provide academic support, mentoring and social skills development. A major focus moving forward will be to continue the positive momentum towards the expansion of services at the existing seven schools. Hartford Community Schools are beginning to have an influence at the state level. State legislation was just passed to support fullservice community schools. State education leaders last year included community schools as one of the turnaround strategies that schools can use under the state s Elementary and Secondary Education waiver plan. Leaders of the Hartford Partnership for Student Success submitted testimony that emphasized that community schools should connect to a school s core instructional program. The leaders also offered several other key lessons they have learned from the implementation of their community schools strategy since HARTFORD PARTNERSHIP FOR STUDENT SUCCESS GOALS n Continue development of the established community schools. n Expand highquality, outof-school programming. n Increase summer learning experiences. n Introduce elements of the Hartford Community Schools core practices to other Hartford schools in need of improvement. n Continue to explore emerging opportunities that are relevant to enhancing student success. External evaluations show increases in reading, math and writing scores for cohorts of students involved in after-school programs.

6 Four main areas of focus. Schools: With the support of our many and varied community partners, the community schools comprehensive approach has helped students improve academically, physically, and socially. The goal of the seven community schools is for students to live and learn in a safe, stable and communitysupported environment. Students: Using a datadriven approach, several cohorts of students with targeted intervention demonstrate greater academic proficiency, improved attendance, and increased engagement in school. This is due in large part to the continuity created between children s lives in school and out of school. Each school nurtures a positive climate and includes an array of enjoyable youth development activities and after-school programs all of which motivate students to want to be at school. Family: Engaging parents in the academic lives of their children and in the governance of their schools, while also offering parents opportunities to learn, grow and develop leadership capabilities, has strengthened students families and neighborhoods. Community: The schools, students, and families have benefited greatly from the partners collaborative effort to organize and connect community resources that accentuate healthy behavior, physical fitness, enrichment opportunities, and the celebration of cultural diversity and competency. Great benefits have been achieved by bringing new partners into schools to address identified needs. Community Schools Lead Agencies/Partners Asian Studies Academy at Bellizzi>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Burns Latino Studies Academy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Alfred E. Burr Elementary School>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> John C. Clark Elementary & Middle School>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jumoke Academy Honors at Milner>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> West Middle Elementary School and Middle Grades Academy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> COMPASS Youth Collaborative COMPASS Youth Collaborative COMPASS Youth Collaborative The Village for Families & Children The Village for Families & Children Catholic Charities Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford I am honored to lead Burns Latino Studies Academy, a community school in Hartford. In a neighborhood with crime and violence, students come to school with more than school on their minds. As a school, our goal is to increase student achievement; however, barriers exist that interfere with their learning processes. The reason we were able to turn our school culture around over the past year was because we are a community school, a community of teachers, students, parents, and agencies that came together to make a change. Dr. Monica Brase, Principal, Burns Latino Studies Academy

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