To advance community schooling, our research-practice partnerships generate a variety of publications and related artifacts, including research briefs and reports, infographics, dashboards, frameworks, assessments, dissertations, videos, podcasts, and conference presentations co-authored by researchers and practitioners. These publications and artifacts are organized below by the four community school pillars to facilitate learning and inform the work of other community schools. We also produce annual reports that capture the progress of each school using core practice narratives and dashboard indicators.
Pillar One: Collaborative Leadership
Collaborative leadership and practices enable schools and partners to work together to strengthen and expand the curriculum; respond to the needs and assets of the community; and democratize leadership and power. The UCLA Center for Community Schooling supports the development of and engages in democratic spaces that build on the assets of all members through collaborative leadership. These spaces include committees, governing boards, leadership teams, working groups, and other collaborative structures that make decisions and plan actions that advance justice and education. We also facilitate the engagement of critical partners including our UCLA colleagues.
This report, co-authored by community school practitioners, focuses on the work of educators within community schools in developing, implementing and owning whole-child educational practices. Practitioners from five “veteran” community schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified) explore and document the critical role of teachers within the approach to ensure students’ growth and development. The report also describes the structures and practices that support their community-based practices. The report is supplemented by a video, a series of portraits of practice, and infographic
2021 (Report, Video, Infographic)
Topics: community teaching, collaborative leadership, teacher agency
This brief describes the practices, policies, and structures that support UCLA Community School’s vision and commitment to collaborative decision-making. The brief demonstrates how collaborative leadership serves to mediate the integration of school and community resources to enhance students’ learning experiences and support families and community. The accompanying toolkit and activities provide a set of reflective questions that aim to assist school-level teams, committees and working groups develop a set of useful skills that foster and support collaborative leadership.
2021 (Brief & Toolkit)
Topics: leadership, governance, professional development
This article, written by Karen Hunter Quartz, Julia Daniel (University of Colorado, Boulder) and Anna Maier (Learning Policy Institute) shares the stories of community teachers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Teachers discuss what it means to be a community school, how teachers in community schools promote deeper learning for students, and how collaborative leadership can create sustainable and humane community school workplaces.
Topics: collaborative leadership, community teaching
Supporting students to actively and critically participate in their own learning requires extensive infrastructure in schools that serve historically nondominant students. As this report documents, students from these backgrounds tend to have fewer opportunities than their more privileged peers to express and draw from their diverse voices and assets in schools. In this report, researchers and practitioners examine the ecology of a community school committed to student agency and democratic participation. This report was generated by a dissertation study conducted by Ung-Sang Lee.
Topics: student agency, collaborative leadership
Drawing on research from the learning sciences and from community school literature, this book chapter explores how community school teachers and other community school staff can collaboratively build new systems to deepen student learning for historically marginalized students and communities. The authors examine some of the ways that teachers in community schools can help create conditions in which low-income students have access to a wide array of learning opportunities similar to their more privileged counterparts. Published in Review of Research in Education.
Topics: community teaching, collaborative leadership
Pillar Two: Integrated Student Supports
Integrated student supports can help students succeed by meeting academic, physical, social-emotional, and mental health needs. The UCLA Center for Community Schooling studies and supports the integration of a range of health, mental health and social services that benefit young people and their families. We work to redistribute access to critical resources for low-income students of color who have been historically marginalized in our education system by mobilizing resources including access to legal services, health care, trauma-informed mental health care, family support and education, nutrition services, academic support services, and mentorship.
Community schools are poised to address a range of issues, including the impact of immigration policy, through integrated student supports by taking an asset-based perspective that views community members and organizations as powerful constituents in the struggle for educational equity. This article reports the findings of a qualitative case study of the implementation of a school-based legal clinic for immigrant families in a high-poverty urban neighborhood. Authors utilize an equity-minded school change framework to examine the range of services offered by the clinic, the process of integrating the clinic’s work into the life of the school, and explore the perspectives of teachers regarding the intersection between immigration and education. Published in Journal of Educational Change.
Topics: integrated student supports, immigrant families
Equitably supporting student and family needs at the school level requires intentional delivery of services and careful monitoring of associated student outcomes. This brief documents the efforts of two university-assisted community schools—UCLA Community School and Mann UCLA Community School—to systematize the delivery and efficacy of a range of student supports, services and learning opportunities through locally designed integrated data systems (IDS). Both schools strive to care for their students’ complex needs by addressing barriers to family well-being such as food and housing insecurities, and inadequate access to health and mental health services. Like many community schools, they also address learning time gaps by providing students with access to enriched learning opportunities like art and music, summer camp and tutoring—opportunities often afforded to their middle- and high-income peers.
Topics: integrated students supports, integrated data systems, measurement
Pillar Three: Family and Community Engagement
Community schools engage family and community members by establishing a positive, welcoming, culturally-sustaining school climate with multiple opportunities for participation including collaborative decision-making, and programming that builds on community assets, interests and needs. School staff, family and community members are partners in supporting students’ learning, fostering engagement and strategic goals. The engagement of families and communities contributes to the establishment of community schools as democratic spaces.
This article, published in Connections, describes the formation of the Anti-Racist Committee (ARC) at Mann UCLA Community School. Comprised of over 30 stakeholders, including students, parents, staff and researchers, ARC aims to ensure that programs and pedagogy remain rooted in the school’s goal of advancing social justice.
Topics: family and community engagement, partnership
In this article, published in Harvard Ed Review, authors describe the transformative parent engagement fostered in a multigenerational afterschool arts program at a community school. Community schools bring together families, teachers, and other neighborhood partners to help students learn, grow, and thrive and often integrate health, education, and social services. This embedded case study shows how community schools can also nurture cultural assets in the form of parents’ community cultural wealth. The learning of these community school parents demonstrates the mutually reinforcing relationships between transformative parent engagement, collaborative leadership, expanded learning opportunities, and integrated student supports. This study highlights the transformative impact of culturally sustaining arts on individuals, families, and the school as a whole, offering implications for researchers and practitioners in community-based arts education and community school development.
Topics: family engagement, partnership
This brief describes the national epidemic of public school closures and shares a local example of a neighborhood school, Horace Mann Middle School, struggling to stay open and reimagine itself as a community school in partnership with UCLA.
Pillar Four: Expanded and Enriched Learning Time and Opportunities
Expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities are essential in ensuring that all students, in particular those who have been historically marginalized in our education system, have access to a range of learning experiences that support students’ academic, social, emotional, and physical growth. In addition to supporting rich, student-focused and community-based classroom instruction that builds on the assets of students, families and teachers, community schools collaborate with partners to provide learning activities during out-of-school time and summer.
In this EdSource Commentary, UCLA Community School high school students document their learning experiences during remote learning and highlight the power of student research. Expand this description to mention Leyda’s dissertation.
Topics: student agency, expanded and enriched learning
This brief sheds light on a translanguaging case study produced as part of a research-practice partnership between a bilingual education researcher and a 9th grade Geography teacher. This collaborative inquiry highlights translanguaging practices and processes, as well as the lessons learned from this collective work.
Topics: translanguaging, bilingual education, expanded and enriched learning
This report documents the experiences of seven cohorts of students from the UCLA Community School and track their pathways to and through college using four measures: (1) postsecondary plans, (2) immediate college enrollment, (3) college persistence (first to second year, and four-year pathways), (4) college completion (within six years). While the school is preparing almost all graduates to enter college and college enrollment and initial persistence rates are higher than the national average, alumni experience challenges persisting through college. This report asks questions about how the school can better prepare students to persist and analyzes the role of K-12 alumni support programs. This report is supplemented by a series of portraits of persistence, and infographic.
Topics: expanded and enriched learning, college readiness
Published in UCLA ED&IS Magazine, this article describes the efforts of Mann UCLA Community School teacher, Darlene Tieu, to develop a science-based curriculum that relates to the lives of students and impacts the community.
Topics: community science, expanded and enriched learning
This report provides an interactive roadmap that documents how educators and researchers partnered to pilot and design a community-based self-assessment system composed of self-assessment instruments (i.e. tools, assessment measures) and classroom routines (i.e., instructional practices that promote self-assessment skills) across grade-levels (grades 2 –12). This report highlights how the design process informed instruction and curriculum development.
Topics: self-assessment, student agency, bilingual education, expanded and enriched learning
A large body of research demonstrates the immense benefits of play for children’s academic learning and development. However, “playful learning,” a teaching approach that uses free-play as well as guided-play activities, is disappearing from many school settings, especially in schools located in underserved communities. This brief discusses the value of play, highlights playful learning approaches at the UCLA Community School, and introduces organizations that advocate for play-based learning policies.
Topics: expanded and enriched learning, partnership
This article, published in The High School Journal, describes the collective problem-solving process that unfolded over a decade, from 2007 to 2017, as researchers and practitioners in a new K-12 urban public school worked together to expand access to college for traditionally underrepresented students. The authors describe three practical problems—how to frame, support, and track a college-for-all reform effort—and detail how grappling with these problems locally provides unique insight into the larger college-for-all policy context.
Topics: college readiness, expanded and enriched learning
This data report is a companion to a research paper entitled, Framing, Supporting, and Tracking College-For-All Reform: A Local Case of Public Scholarship. This paper describes the collective problem-solving process that unfolded over a decade, from 2007 to 2017, as researchers and practitioners worked together to expand access to college for traditionally underrepresented students. The paper describe three practical problems—how to frame, support, and track a college-for-all reform effort—and details how grappling with these problems locally provides unique insight into the larger college-for-all policy context. In particular, the paper explores the role of learning supports, status hierarchies, and resources in realizing the college-for-all ideal. It also articulates a fundamental framing tension between social justice as redistribution and recognition and suggest that the notion of parity of participation guide policy and action.
2019 (Data Report)
Topics: college readiness, college persistence, expanded and enriched learning
This brief describes the efforts of the UCLA Community School to address and meet the needs of undocumented students. The authors describe the school context as well as the symbiotic relationship between research and practice. Authors conclude by providing resources and considerations for practitioners to better support undocumented students on their campus.
Topics: undocumented students, partnership, expanded and enriched learning, college readiness
This article, published in the Journal of Education Placed at High Risk investigates the experience of 229 low-income students of color who participated in an innovative high school internship program between 2011 and 2015. Using mixed methods (interviews, observations, and survey), the authors aim to understand the types of knowledge, information, and supports these students develop and expand in relation to careers and the college-going process. The authors draw on students’ community cultural wealth to highlight the way the internship program supports students’ aspirational, navigational, linguistic, resistant, and social capital.
Topics: expanded and enriched learning, partnership, community-based learning