January 2022 – C/W CSTAC Community School Spotlight:

Three Community Schools Models in Action

While community schools have proven successful in fostering a strong academic program, expanding and enriching learning opportunities, providing comprehensive support services, and strengthening family and community engagement, we know that it is not a “one size fits all” approach. Did you know that there are six primary models of Community Schools in NYS? The models are:

  1. A Lead Partner 
  2. University-Assisted
  3. Union-Led
  4. District-Led
  5. County-Wide
  6. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Read more about each model in the recently developed NYSUT Community Schools Models Fact Sheet, which includes additional insights including:

  • Primary Community School Models in NYS
  • What is a Community School, and what it is not
  • Programs and services are offered at a Community School
  • Community School Coordinators as key ingredients
  • BOCES Community School CoSer
  • The ROI on Community Schools

We’re excited to highlight three of the Community School Models in the Central/Western Region below.

The University-Assisted Model: Binghamton University Community Schools

University-assisted community schools organize and mobilize university resources while helping to build relationships designed to link school systems, key community resources and higher education to an integrated focus on academics, support systems and civic engagement. Binghamton University Community Schools is an example of this model with Binghamton University as the lead partner.

Community School Coordinators within the Binghamton University-Assisted Community Schools (BUCS) Regional Network learn about the many University resources that interface with local schools from grant-funded STEM initiatives to Upward Bound programs.
Social Work interns attend a training on community schools as part of their placements within the Binghamton University Community Schools (BUCS) Regional Network’s Community School Districts (Binghamton City School District, Catholic Schools of Broome County, Chenango Valley CSD, Deposit CSD, Harpursville CSD, Johnson City CSD, Union-Endicott CSD, Whitney Point Central School District, Windsor CSD).

The Union-Led Model: Connected Community Schools

A Union-led model is a community school initiative bringing together the union, school district, city, and community. Connected Community Schools, an initiative of the Rome Alliance for Education, a non-profit organization formed by members of the Rome Teacher’s Association, is an example of this model. Connected Community Schools coordinates and maximizes public, non-profit, and private resources and government agencies to deliver critical services to students and their families using the school building as the community hub with the goal of creating improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

NYSUT President Andy Pallotta visiting Connected Community Schools’ Central HUB at their Connected Staley Elementary - Rome City School District. Connected Community Schools' HUBs had hit a milestone of distributing 1.2 million lbs. of food to the community during COVID; the equivalent to 978,560 meals to school families.
Superintendent Bellair is joined by Connected Community Schools team members Danielle Martin, Jessica Lattimore, Melissa Roys, Sarah Smith, Christie Crossman, and Lara McNamara at Whitesboro Central School District’s recent ribbon cutting ceremony. Connected Community Schools Union-Led Model is currently being implemented in the following school districts: Adirondack CSD, Camden CSD, Central Valley CSD, Dolgeville CSD, Holland Patent CSD, Little Falls CSD, Oneida CSD, Rome CSD, Waterville CSD, Whitesboro CSD.

The Multi-tiered Systems of Support Model: Finger Lakes Community Schools

Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem solving and decision-making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students. The MTSS model uses this framework to support students’ academic development, social and emotional wellness, and the development of culturally responsive, trauma-informed schools. Restorative Practices are used to promote attachment, regulation, competency, and health. An example of this model is the Finger Lakes Community Schools.

Finger Lakes Community Schools is working with BOCES across the Finger Lakes region to connect Community Schools with MTSS. Specific Community Schools MTSS days are co-hosted with WFL BOCES. Half day trainings are followed by a half day of team time. The pandemic has required this training to be virtual, but participants continue to focus on data, systems and practices, and tiered supports. FLX Community Schools is collaborating with the following districts: Clyde-Savannah CSD, Lyons CSD, Newark CSD, North-Rose Wolcott CSD, Red Creek CSD, Romulus CSD, Seneca Falls CSD, Sodus CSD, South Seneca CSD, Williamson CSD.
Finger Lakes Community Schools trainings encourage participants to be culturally responsive, integrate resources from community partners and develop a continuum of support that is trauma informed and restorative. Each place is unique, and all the work should be place-based and person-centered.

Click here to explore the Finger Lakes Community Schools framework and Restorative Practices Toolkit.

Do you have a community school story that you would like featured in our e-newsletter?

Email Liz Anderson at cstac@binghamton.edu or call 607-777-9383.