Community School Initiative

L.A. Unified Definition for Community Schools

A community school addresses issues of structural poverty and racism by providing a learning environment where all children can learn and thrive. This includes an integrated wraparound education that transforms the school into a community center coordinated by a partnership between the school site, civic leaders, and community-based organizations with a shared purpose to accelerate student achievement, 100 percent graduation, college and career readiness. This approach evolves the school site into a hub for the community where families access health, socio-emotional, mental health, and enrichment support for students during and following normal school hours. All partners work in partnership building relational trust, building strong communities with restorative practices, offering quality engagement opportunities for families, and leading all efforts through shared ownership and responsibility.

LAUSD Community Schools demonstrate the characteristics of the Community School’s evidence-informed, school improvement framework centering on four pillars, which together create the conditions necessary for students to thrive:

  1. Integrated Student Supports - Removing barriers to school success by connecting students and families to service providers or bringing holistic programs and services into the school to help families meet their basic needs so students can focus on learning.

  2. Expanded and Enriched Learning Time and Opportunities - Ensuring there are before- and after-school learning opportunities that augment traditional learning, including summer instruction, mentoring, and out-of-school learning experiences.

  3. Family and Community Engagement - Incorporating strategies that cultivate clear communication among all stakeholders and embracing community organizing for school and District improvement.

  4. Collaborative Leadership and Practice - Strengthening processes so stakeholders with different areas of expertise work together, share decisions and responsibilities, with mutual accountability toward a shared vision.