A unique feature of our work is our practice base—we understand the joys and challenges of implementing the community schools strategy because we actually operate more than 20 community schools in New York City, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. This real world experience allows us to host study visits, develop and test planning tools, showcase best practices, conduct sustainability institutes, and support continuous improvement as schools and systems move through the stages of development from exploring to excelling:
- Study Visits: Customized visits to Children’s Aid community schools offer opportunities to observe programming and to gain insight from the experiences of a wide range of educators and other community school practitioners.
- Planning Tools: From needs assessment to job descriptions and beyond, our planning tools have been shown to speed the learning of colleagues across the country.
- Institutes: The NCCS team works with local planning teams to design multi-day learning experiences, including summer institutes for principals and community schools directors as well as sustainability planning institutes for key stakeholders.
- Continuous Improvement: Our nationally recognized Stages of Development tool is used by many initiatives to guide their improvement efforts, serving as a blueprint for deepening and expanding their local efforts.