The Community Schools Approach

Improving Student Learning, Strengthening Families and Communities
  • Martin J. Blank
  • Jane Quinn
  • Hayin Kim
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)

Most conversations about what we want for our young people in communities across America begin with an emphasis on the kinds of people we want them to be, thereby holding implications for our society as a whole. The most common phrases suggest larger societal values—caring adults, engaged family members, productive workers and contributors to American society. Although academic achievement is seen as part of the equation, it is not the first issue raised. There is a recognition that young people must develop socially, ethically, civically, and personally, as well as academically. This chapter characterizes community schools as a strategy for creating the conditions for successful student learning by also attending to critical social and developmental goals. It is intended to help mental health professionals see how mental health programs fit into a broader community school context. The chapter begins with a discussion of what young people need to succeed, reviews initiatives to connect school and community resources, defines a new vision of community schools, and provides evidence of the promise of the community school approach. Examples of innovative community schools with strong mental health programs are included. The chapter reviews the challenges in making community schools a permanent part of the education and community landscape and recommends steps for addressing those challenges. It closes with suggestions on how mental health leaders working in schools can contribute to the community schools movement


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Addams, J. (1904). On education. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Almeida, C, & Steinberg, A. (Eds.). (2001). Connected learning communities: A toolkit for reinventing high school. Boston, MA: Jobs for the Future.Google Scholar
  3. Benard, B. (1991). Fostering resiliency in kids: Protective factors in the family, school and community. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratories, Western Regional Center for Drug-Free Schools and Communities.Google Scholar
  4. Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development (1989). Turning points: Preparing American youth for the 21st century. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York.Google Scholar
  5. Center for Youth Development (2001). Definitions of youth development. Available on-line: http://www.nydic.Org/devdef.html#needs.
  6. Clark, R. M. (1988). Critical factors in why disadvantaged children succeed or fail in school. New York:Academy for Educational Development.Google Scholar
  7. Coalition for Community Schools (2000). Community partnerships for excellence. Washington, DC:Institute for Educational Leadership.Google Scholar
  8. Dewey, J. (1902). The school as social center. In J. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey: The middle works,1902–1903(Vol. 2, pp. 80–93). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Dryfoos, J. (1994). Full service schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  10. Dryfoos, J. (2000, September). Community schools: Evaluation of findings to date. Paper presented to the Coalition for Community Schools, Washington, DC. Available on-line:
  11. Eccles, J. (1999). The development of children ages 6 to 14. In R. E. Behrman (Ed.), The future of children: Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall 1999, When school is out(pp. 30–44). Los Altos, CA: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.Google Scholar
  12. Epstein, J. L. (1995). School, family, community partnerships: Caring for the children we share. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(9), 701–712.Google Scholar
  13. Gardner, J. (1990). On leadership. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. Harkavy, I. (2000, June). Governance and the community-higher education-school connection. Paper presented at The Learning Connection: New Partnerships between Schools and Colleges, Kansas City, MO.Google Scholar
  15. Henderson, A. T., &Berla, N. (1995). A new generation of evidence: The family is critical to student achievementWashington, DC: Center for Law and Education.Google Scholar
  16. Ianni, F. A. J. (1990). The search for structure. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  17. Learning First Alliance (2001). Every child learning: Safe and supportive schools. Washington, DC:Author.Google Scholar
  18. Marx, E., Wooley, S. F., & Northrop, D. (Eds.). (1998). Health is academic. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  19. McLaughlin, M. W. (2000). Community counts: How youth organizations matter for youth development. Washington, DC: Public Education Network.Google Scholar
  20. Melaville, A. (1998). Learning together: The developing field of school-community initiatives. Flint, MI: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.Google Scholar
  21. Pardini, P. (2001). School-community partnering. The school administrator, August 2001, 6–11.Google Scholar
  22. Quinn, T. (1999). Helping troubled youth: The Columbia teen screen suicide prevention program. New York, NY: Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
  23. Vandell, D. L., &Shumow, L. (1999). After-school child care programs. In R. E. Behrman (Ed.), The future of children: Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall 1999, When school is out(pp. 64–80). Los Altos, CA: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.Google Scholar
  24. Yohalem, N., &Pittman, K. (2001). Powerful pathways: Framing options and opportunities for vulnerable youth. Flint, MI: The Charles Steward Mott Foundation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin J. Blank
    • 1
  • Jane Quinn
    • 2
  • Hayin Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Educational LeadershipWashington
  2. 2.Children's Aid SocietyNew York, New York

Personalised recommendations