Resources for Connecting Schools to Communities


The Coalition for Community Schools in their publication “Community-Based Learning – Engaging Students for Success and Citizenship” offers a common sense approach for linking living and learning. A growing number of schools and community partners are adapting courses—both during the regular school day and after school— that allow students to learn in their communities. This link between schools and community partners is a critical element of community schools, offering students ways to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success in adulthood.

The aim of these courses is to more fully engage young people, by harnessing their natural interest in where and how they live and by using their own community as a source of learning and action. To create both learners and citizens, the Coalition for Community Schools advocates strategies that engage students in learning through community-based problem-solving…The material draws from research on peer-assisted learning, project-based learning, and experiential learning.  These community-based learning strategies include:

(1) Academically-Based Community Service

(2) Civic Education

(3) Environmental Education

(4) Place-Based Learning

(5) Service Learning

(6) Work-Based Learning



Mission:  To surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

This site tells you how you can bring community resources inside schools, where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable.

“It’s relationships, not programs, that enable children.”   “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children.  Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.”  (Bill Milliken, founder)



The purpose of the Center for Social Organization of Schools has remained consistent since its founding—to study how changes in the organization of schools can make them more effective for all students in promoting academic achievement, development of potential, and eventual career success. The emphasis on social organization is based in sound theory— that changes in the structure of an environment will produce changes in the attitudes, behaviors, and accomplishments of the people in that environment. Schools can be made more effective for all students through changes in the organization of the classroom, school, and district. This emphasis compels the center to address many major, practical problems in education, including:

  • How to develop learning environments that minimize student apathy or disruption, and maximize student commitment, satisfaction, and learning;
  • How to organize educational experiences that foster learning among students with different interests and needs;
  • How to facilitate the successful transition from education to work;
  • How to structure and coordinate educational programs to provide fair access to educational and occupational opportunities;
  • How to connect schools with families and communities in ways that promote student success.