California Community Schools Partnership Program:
A Transformational Opportunity for Whole Child Education
About the Brief
In July 2021, California passed a historic $3billion investment to strengthen and expand community schools across the state. This policy brief, co-authored by our partners at the Learning Policy Institute and the Opportunity Institute, examines key elements of the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) and highlights how the new law is built upon the core research-backed features of high-quality community schools.
As the authors demonstrate, when implemented well, community schools are guided by principles for equitable whole child practices grounded in the science of learning and development. According to California statute, community schools are public schools “with strong and intentional community partnerships ensuring pupil learning and whole child and family development,” and include the following four features: integrated student supports, enriched and expanded learning opportunities, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership and practices. The authors detail how each of the features contribute to environments that prioritize the full scope of children’s well-being to promote healthy development, learning and thriving. Authors provide helpful examples of structures and practices, including collaborative leadership at the UCLA Community School, to document where and how community schools are working to achieve this transformational whole child vision. The authors also provide a helpful discussion of the technical assistance needed to achieve high-quality community schools implementation.
This historic investment in community schooling presents a pivotal moment for California education, and for policymakers, practitioners, advocates, students, families and educational partners across the country who hope to transform schools into student- and family-centered hubs that provide whole child education.
15 MINUTE READ
Maier, A., & Niebuhr, D. (2021). California Community Schools Partnership Program: A transformational opportunity for whole child education. Learning Policy Institute. https://doi.org/10.54300/806.436.