About Us


The Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools is a practice-based technical assistance center that builds the capacity of schools, districts, and community partners to organize their human and financial resources around student success. Our expertise draws on 24 years of experience operating community schools in New York City and on 22 years of national and international implementation assistance. Since our inception in 1994, we have provided training, consultation, and other forms of support to nearly all of the country’s major community school initiatives, helping them to design, implement, and sustain community schools to meet the unique needs and strengths of their communities. Services are targeted to individual schools, school boards and district administrators, funders, education reform leaders, community organizations, parent associations, policy makers, universities, and research centers.

Our Team

Our highly qualified team consists of educators, social workers, and public policy experts who understand both the strategic and operational aspects of community schools:
Vice President of Collective Impact & Director of the National Center for Community Schools Abe Fernández abef@childrensaidnyc.org
Deputy Director, National Center for Community Schools Lisa Hackett lhackett@childrensaidnyc.org
Budget and Contract Manager Gail Grandison gailg@childrensaidnyc.org
Client Engagement Associate Jorge Blau jorgeb@childrensaidnyc.org
Client Engagement Associate Monique Fletcher mfletcher@childrensaidnyc.org
Operations Assistant Nikki Lin nlin@childrensaidnyc.org

Topics on Which We Have Expertise

  • Forging strategic partnerships between schools and community resources
  • Out-of-school time program quality, including selecting age-appropriate curricular resources
  • Building and promoting staff quality
  • Program development
  • Financing and sustainability
  • Child and adolescent development; addressing the needs of the whole child
  • Parent and family engagement, education, and leadership
  • Needs assessment and responsive planning
  • Connecting research and practice