Community Schools Playbook

Posted on September 12, 2018

Around the country, educators, grassroots organizations, and policymakers are advancing comprehensive community schools as a powerful evidenced-based equity strategy. Together, they’re creating high-performing schools that serve as centers of community life, where educators, families, and local partners come together to support student well-being and academic success.

The Community Schools Playbook, from the Partnership for the Future of Learning, is a comprehensive policy and implementation guide for those looking to advance community schools. It provides an in-depth review of the strategy, details the four key pillars of comprehensive community schools—Integrated Student Supports, Expanded and Enriched Learning Time and Opportunities, Active Family and Community Engagement, and Collaborative Leadership and Practices—and has both communications and policy development resources, including policy examples from across the United States and model legislative language.

The Playbook is available on a new interactive web site, hosted by the Partnership for the Future of Learning. Visitors to the site can review and print the book and access supporting resources, including videos and infographics.

The Community Schools Playbook includes:

Section 1: The Fundamentals of Community Schools

An Introduction to Community Schools

Policies That Advance Community Schools

Section 2: The Four Pillars of a Comprehensive Community School Strategy

First Pillar: Integrated Student Supports

Second Pillar: Expanded and Enriched Learning Time and Opportunities

Third Pillar: Active Family and Community Engagement

Fourth Pillar: Collaborative Leadership and Practices

Section 3: Resources You Can Use

Messaging: How to Effectively Communicate for Community Schools

Model Legislation

Community Schools in ESSA State Plans

Implementation Resources


The Community Schools Playbook was produced for the Partnership for the Future of Learning by the Public Leadership Institute in partnership with the Coalition for Community Schools. Research for the Community Schools Playbook was conducted by the Learning Policy Institute, the National Education Policy Center, and Research for Action.

The Community Schools Playbook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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