April 2024 Community Schools Newsletter

This month we share stories from Anaheim Union High School District community schools, featured in our latest issue of Community Schooling—our multimedia journal! We also share information on school visits and upcoming conferences that highlight the collective work of community schools across the nation.

New Release: Community Schooling Journal Features Anaheim

Car drawing

We are thrilled to announce the 5th issue of Community Schooling! This issue highlights the tremendous work of educators, students, and community members in the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD). Our Center has had the honor of working closely with AUHSD as a Deep Dive Transformation Partner for the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) throughout the last year.

The issue’s School Case focuses on Gilbert High School, AUHSD’s alternative school, through the perspective of Principal Jose Lara. Gilbert embodies community-based schooling by customizing learning to meet students’ needs and emphasizing personally connected leadership. The Teacher Scholarship feature, written by Michael Switzer, ELA Curriculum Specialist and former English Teacher, recounts the evolution of AUHSD’s Capstone Program. From a classroom innovation to a district-wide initiative, Switzer documents how it has revolutionized student learning, assessment, teaching methods, and teacher collaboration. In the Youth Research feature, Denise Rojas, a 12th grader at Western High School, shares her research project investigating the influence of homelessness on community health outcomes, showcasing the importance of youth engagement and community-based learning in AUHSD. Finally, AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda shares key components of how AUHSD implements graduate profiles to support authentic learning in the Policy ABCs feature.

Freedom Dreamers: Building Black and Brown Futures

Mann ULCA Community School proudly announces its 2nd Annual Student Youth-Participatory Action Research Conference—“Freedom Dreamers: Building Black and Brown Futures.” Students will present their research from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 27. Register through the QR code or by visiting the Mann website.

Educators from Mississippi Visit the UCLA Community School

On April 17th, a delegation of 20 educators from Jackson and Quitman County, Mississippi visited the UCLA Community School as part of a study tour organized by the NEA Foundation and the Institute for Educational Leadership. In addition to student-led tours (pictured above) and an educator panel on collaborative leadership and professional development, the visitors learned about University-assisted Community Schools and discussed the engagement of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in their state.

Based on statewide data from schools and districts participating in the historic California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP), this blog series shares how community schools are reshaping the educational landscape.

In our second post, we delve further into the findings of the state’s Annual Progress Report (APR) to portray the collective journey of transformation. We describe how 450 community schools are developing strong connections with a range of diverse interest-holders–students, families/caregivers, staff, community members, and partners–to actively engage them in the development and implementation of a shared vision.

The APR is a valuable reflective and learning tool that was provided to all Cohort 1 CCSPP grantees for the first time in fall of 2023. In our first post, we examined schools’ commitment to advance students’ classroom learning through whole child and family supports. Stay tuned for more insights about this historic initiative.

Join Our Team at the CSxFE Conference

Join community school practitioners, researchers, partners and advocates at the 2024 National Community Schools and Family Engagement (CSxFE) conference in Atlanta from May 29-31!  Our team will be presenting three workshops focused on University-Assisted Community Schools, collaborative leadership, and teaching and learning in community schools.

Mark Your Calendars

We are looking forward to the 2024 EMPOWER Summit! Convened by the State-Transformational Assistance Center, the summit is a two-day event open to California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) grantees, Regional Technical Assistance Centers, educators and community members who serve community schools. Join us in Los Angeles from June 13-14