Community Partnerships —
Transforming Schools and Revitalizing Communities
Communities and schools are strongly linked — one seldom succeeds if the other fails. Schools need families and communities that are involved in the education of students; communities need schools that serve as centers of neighborhood life.
Campuses Serve as Community Hubs
Cincinnati Public Schools has created campuses that strengthen this link between schools and communities. These schools, known as Community Learning Centers (CLC), serve as hubs for community services, providing a system of integrated partnerships that promote academic excellence and offer recreational, educational, social, health, civic and cultural opportunities for students, families and the community. Over the past ten years, this model has drawn national attention for successfully engaging community partnerships in school buildings.
CLCs offer health services, counseling, after-school programs, nutrition classes, parent and family engagement programs, early childhood education, career and college access services, youth development activities, mentoring, and arts programming.
A CPS Board of Education policy states that all district school buildings will serve as Community Learning Centers. The Board also developed written guidelines for the establishment of partnerships.
Board Policy No. 7500 - Community Learning Centers
Supporting Student Achievement
The goal of Community Learning Centers is to support student achievement while revitalizing neighborhoods and maximizing the community’s return on its investment in public schools. Each CLC includes a full-time Resource Coordinator who knows the specific needs of the school, its families and the community. The Resource Coordinator is key to the success of the CLC, as partnerships must be recruited, developed and supported to meet the individual needs of students, impact school success and reflect community interests.
Cincinnati Public Schools receives funding from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation to contract with community agencies - such as the YMCA, the Urban League and the Boys and Girls Clubs - to employ Resource Coordinators for CLCs. The Community Learning Center Institute, a local non-profit organization and a partner with CPS, provides Resource Coordinators at seven schools at no cost to the district.
To date, Resource Coordinators have transformed 34 schools (of 55 total schools) into Community Learning Centers.
CLCs engage the community through a variety of strategies, including:
- School governance and leadership (LSDMCs - Local School Decision-Making Committees)
- Co-located service partners (i.e. health, recreation, adult education, etc.)
- Door-to-door campaigns to inform and solicit support
- Community events, such as student performances, health fairs, etc.
- Service-learning projects and community service
- Recruitment campaigns for mentors and tutors
- Community Conversation meetings with district leadership at different school sites
- Community newsletters
- Attendance and participation in Community Council meetings
More than 600 CLC community partners have provided services valued at over $1 million to students and families. These partnerships are integrated and aligned to school goals, resulting in improved academic outcomes for CPS students.
For additional information, contact:
Julie Doppler, Community Learning Centers Coordinator
Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Department
P.O. Box 5381
Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381