AASA Recognized for Support of Community Schools



James Minichello

AASA Honored for Longtime Partnership with the Coalition for Supporting Community Schools

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—April 4, 2016—The Coalition for Community Schools will present the National Partner Award to AASA, The School Superintendents Association, at the Community Schools National Forum, which will take place April 6-8 in Albuquerque, NM. The Coalition will also honor two superintendents, two district initiative leaders, two educators, and a community advocate with leadership awards, and will present the Joy Dryfoos Community Schools Lifetime Achievement Award to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

“AASA has been instrumental in supporting the Coalition’s work to grow the community schools strategy,” said Martin J. Blank, president of the Institute for Educational Leadership and director of the Coalition for Community Schools. “The Coalition’s greatest strength is our partners. We are so pleased to have AASA as a member of our Steering Committee and jointly leading our Superintendents Leadership Council.”

Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. School and district leaders collaborate with organizations to bring a multitude of services into schools and accessible to the community, including health, dental, and mental health services; food pantries and nutrition assistance; adult education and financial literacy courses; structured afterschool and summer programs; and cultural and recreational activities.

The National Partner Award is presented by the Coalition to its national partner that has made significant contributions to the work of the Coalition and toward growing the field.

AASA engagement has been pivotal to the development of the Superintendent’s Leadership Council for Community Schools, which is co-sponsored by the Coalition and AASA, and it has helped to grow the number of superintendents standing for community schools.

AASA has been a strong partner in raising awareness of community schools among federal policymakers through meetings on Capitol Hill with legislators and their staff, co-hosting webinars, and participating in the Coalition’s federal policy work group. AASA was also pivotal in the successful efforts to embed community school principles in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For complete profiles of all of the awardees, please click here.

The awardees will be recognized at the 2016 Community Schools National Forum, a gathering of more than 1,600 community school advocates, educators, and partners in Albuquerque, NM. The Forum is co-sponsored by the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) together with the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Community Schools Partnership.

The theme of this year’s Forum, “Rising Together: Learning Across School, Family, and Community,” reflects the belief of the Coalition that in community schools all children can thrive, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or economic status. In fact, as leaders “rise together,” community schools pay particular attention to building on the assets of children and youth in families facing the greatest inequities. That is why equity and opportunity for all has been a central tenet of the Coalition’s work.


About the Coalition for Community Schools
The Coalition for Community Schools, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K–16, youth development, community planning and development, higher education, family support, health and human services, government, and philanthropy as well as national, state, and local community school networks. The Coalition advocates for community schools as a strategy to leverage local resources and programs, changing the look and feel of the traditional school structure to best meet the needs of children and families in the 21st century.

About the Institute for Educational Leadership
For a half-century, the Institute for Educational Leadership has championed the need for leaders at all levels to shake off their institutional constraints and work across boundaries to address the needs of young people and their families. Bound by no constituency, IEL serves as a catalyst that helps policymakers, administrators, and practitioners at all levels to bridge bureaucratic silos and undo gridlock to improve outcomes for all young people and their families. The work of IEL focuses on three pillars required for young people and their communities to succeed: Involving the broader community with public education to support the learning and development of young people; building more effective pathways into the workforce for all young people and supporting the transition to adulthood; and preparing generations of leaders with the know-how to drive collaborative efforts at all levels.

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