Hartford Community Schools Named National Community School Award for Excellence Winner

Spotlight on Excellence     May 2013


Hartford Community Schools Named National Community School Award for Excellence Winner

(Washington, DC) – Hartford Community Schools were named a National Community School Award for Excellence winner this month by the National Coalition for Community Schools.
A review team of community school and education leaders from around the country praised Hartford Community Schools for the success of its afterschool programs in raising math and reading test scores of its students. Hartford’s community schools has also increased student participation and attendance in school activities as well as fostered greater community participation and parental involvement.
“Hartford’s community school strategy is a roadmap for any school system or community-based organization looking to implement high-performing community school initiatives for their young people,” said Martin J. Blank, director of the Coalition for Community Schools and president of the Institute for Educational Leadership. “Our sincere hope is that school systems across the country eventually resemble the community school system in Hartford.”  
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together external partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Together, they collaborate on setting goals for the school community and work cooperatively to achieve those desired results. Community school initiatives are cropping up across the country in every type of locale; from Oakland, CA to Tulsa, OK and Ogden, Utah, to Baltimore, MD.
All around the country, community schools are making efficient use of resources and partnerships to provide innovative and high-quality instruction and support to their students, families, and communities. Each community school in Hartford features an Educational Coordinator who connects and develops after-school and summer programming to the school day’s research-based curriculum.
The effectiveness of Hartford Community Schools is particularly remarkable given the economic strife facing families and neighborhoods in Hartford. Years of economic disinvestment has affected Hartford more adversely than most cities in the country, particularly its school district. But the commitment of Hartford Public Schools, the City of Hartford, its private and public partners including the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, in supporting its children and their families is a beacon for other schools systems facing similar challenges.  Additionally, Hartford’s unique ability to develop collaborative leaders sets it apart from other initiatives.
Leaders from Hartford Community Schools will be presented its National Community School award during the 2013 Community School Education Day June 6th on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The Coalition for Community Schools is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, higher education institutions, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks.  The Coalition advocates for community schools as the vehicle for strengthening schools, families and communities so that together they can improve student learning.  It is a program of the Institute for Educational Leadership.  For more information on community schools please visit: www.communityschools.org.
The Hartford Partnership for Student Success is jointly led by Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra; Hartford School Superintendent Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto; President Linda J. Kelly, Esq. of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and Susan B. Dunn, President and CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.  These leaders work together to ensure that they and all other partners of Hartford Community Schools hold each other accountable for their commitments and that Community Schools are held accountable for continual progress.  For more information, contact Sandra Ward at sward@hartfordschools.org.

Press release contact information:

Heather Naviasky
202‐822‐8405, x111

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