Maryland Coalition for Community Schools
About Community Schools in Maryland
A Commmunity School is a place-based strategy that aims to make the school builidng a hub for community resources and reinvestment. Rather than an institution where teachers teach and students learn, Community Schools provide a wealth of resources to meet the needs of students and families including health and social services, and community engagement and development. This holistic approach leads to better student outcomes such as increased attendance and academic success, and strengthens community fabric.
In Maryland, a statewide coalition - MD4CS - has formed to advocate for further implementation of the Community Schools model by tracking legislation, designing strategy and communications, and working with policy makers to rethink the educational experience for the state's youth.
Our goal is to reduce opportunity gaps that exist in low-income areas by assessing the needs and assets of the community and forming intentional partnerships with local, community-based organizations to eliminate the out-of-school barriers to learning.
2019 Community School Legislation
The 2019 session of the General Assembly was a HUGE win for Community Schools in Maryland. Community Schools are now codified in Maryland.
Community Schools Est.
Community Schools Est. is a bill that outlines the principles and practices for Community Schools in Maryland. The bill will give guidance to counties and school systems seeking to transition schools eligible for funding into full service Community Schools.
Community Schools Defined:
“COMMUNITY SCHOOL” MEANS A PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT ESTABLISHES A SET OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND OTHER COMMUNITY RESOURCES THAT PROMOTE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, POSITIVE LEARNING CONDITIONS, AND THE WELL–BEING OF STUDENTS, FAMILIES, AND THE COMMUNITY.
Purpose of Community Schools:
THE PURPOSE OF A COMMUNITY SCHOOL IS TO HELP STUDENTS AND FAMILIES OVERCOME THE IN–SCHOOL AND OUT–OF–SCHOOL BARRIERS THAT PREVENT CHILDREN FROM LEARNING AND SUCCEEDING OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES BY HAVING AN INTEGRATED FOCUS ON ACADEMICS, HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, YOUTH AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, AND FAMILIAL AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.
MD4CS worked with legislators, youth advocates, and community-based organizations to develop language for this bill and its amendments as well as mobilizing support in Annapolis. We are so grateful to Senator Mary Washington and Delegate Eric Ebersole for sponsoring this important bill.
The Blueprint for Maryland's Future
One of the biggest education policy bills to come out of the General Assembly in years, the Blueprint for Maryland's Future is intended to transform the state's early chilhood, primary, and seconday education systems to the levels of the highest-performing schools in the world.
For Community Schools, this means dedicated funding in the form of a Concentrated Poverty School Grant that provides additional monies to schools with Free And Reduced Meals (FARM) rates of 80% or more. These grants require schools to follow the Community School model and hire a Community School Coordinator or Health Care Practitioner to ensure that students receive the academic and socio-emotional supports they need to achieve.
For a list of eligible schools by county, please click here.
Community Schools defined:
“COMMUNITY SCHOOL” MEANS A PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT ESTABLISHES A SET OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND OTHER COMMUNITY RESOURCES THAT PROMOTE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, POSITIVE LEARNING CONDITIONS, AND THE WELL–BEING OF STUDENTS BY PROVIDING WRAPAROUND SERVICES.
Dedicated funding for Community Schools:
FOR EACH OF FISCAL YEARS 2020 AND 2021, THE STATE SHALL DISTRIBUTE A GRANT TO EACH COUNTY BOARD EQUAL TO $248,833 FOR EACH ELIGIBLE SCHOOL IN THE COUNTY.
Dedicated funding for Community School Coordinators:
FOR EACH OF FISCAL YEARS 2020 AND 2021, THE STATE SHALL DISTRIBUTE TO THE DEPARTMENT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO $126,170 TO FUND ONE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SCHOOLS IN THE DEPARTMENT.
MD4CS and the National Coalition for Community Schools served as a resource for the Kirwan Commission, the policy-making body that crafted The Blueprint for Maryland's Future. For more information about the Kirwan Commission and to review the supporting documents that the bill is based on, please visit their website.
Coalition Meetings & Events
MD4CS wants to come to your county!
At our April Member Meeting, partners expressed the need to implementation and policy guidance in light of the new legislation from the General Assembly this year. To that end, we will be planning county strategy meetings to hear from local community organizations and stakeholders and craft next steps to ensure a successful 2020 rollout.
Interested in a strategy meeting? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
April Member Meeting
Click here to view past events.
Learn More About the Statewide Coalition
MD4CS is a cross-sector working group comprised of representatives from non-profit community organizations, institutions of higher education, state government, and school jurisdictions. To learn more about the Community School initiatives in Maryland and the DMV, visit our Community School Initiative page.