Rich-poor and white-minority achievement gaps are largely attributable to factors outside of school walls. So if schools are to substantially narrow these gaps, education policy must incorporate health and nutrition supports and after-school enrichment to address barriers to learning that are driven by child poverty. Read the BBA Mission Statement to learn more.
Across the country, communities have adopted a range of comprehensive strategies to improving all children’s educational opportunities and attainment. These different approaches tailored to various needs all produce community-wide benefits. View the complete list of Broader, Bolder Communities.
Then Schools were isolated from the community, and unmet student needs were overwhelming teachers and other school staff.
Now School curriculum is integrated with out-of-school time programming and with support services for students and their families. Teacher attendance and satisfaction, student success, and parent engagement all improved.
Learn more about Children's Aid Society Community Schools
Then There was no systematic way to connect urban schoolchildren with the rich resources of the city’s
community partners, or for schools to efficiently address the out-of-school factors impacting students.
Now Student support in school has been revitalized, ensuring that a uniquely tailored plan of enrichment and supports is designed to meet each student’s individual strengths and needs.
Learn more about City Connects
Then 18,000 young children in Douglas and Sarpy Counties live in low-income families, 42% of children lack a regular health care provider, and more than 5,000 students are absent from school in the greater Omaha area on a given day.
Now Community collaboration and new partnerships address early childhood, health, academic support and engagement needs, reaching out to students in Douglas and Sarpy Counties who are not ready to enter kindergarten or are at high risk of school failure or drop-out,
Learn more about Building Bright Futures
Then “17 years ago, Tangelo Park was one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Orlando. Some people referred to it as the ‘wild, wild west,’ with drug dealers ruling the streets.”
Now There has been a 50% reduction in crime from 1993, when the program began, to 2009.
Learn more about Tangelo Park Program
Then Enrollment declined from 90,000 in 1970 to 45,000 in 1999, while the student body went from 70% middle class and above to 70% poverty during that time. By 2001, the graduation rate was just 52%.
Now Enrollment declines have been reversed, with nearly 6,000 more students than projected.
Learn more about Community Learning Centers (CLCS)
Then Schools in a rapidly growing suburb north of Houston faced discipline challenges due to increasing student disengagement.
Now “Our purpose, in partnership with families and community, is to develop each child intellectually, artistically, emotionally, physically, and socially so that all students are life-long learners, complex thinkers, responsible global citizens and effective communicators, and is reflected in policies and practices throughout the district.”
Learn more about Quest Early College High School
As states move to implement the Common Core Standards, they should address the home and community experiences that impede effective learning and teaching for many students. Supports built into the Standards, including social and emotional learning, can narrow achievement gaps and support effective, whole-child learning for all students. See the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools proposal, endorsed by BBA.
Recognizing the critical importance of a comprehensive approach to improving schools in troubled communities, the Department of Education has allocated funds to establish “Promise Neighborhoods.” In Newark, New Jersey, BBA co-chair Pedro Noguera is working to build such a BBA model, the Newark Global Village School Zone. The UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools offers a guide to "pursuing promise neighborhoods; with or without a grant."
Across the country, school districts are adopting a strategy that brings a range of community services into schools, establishing them as hubs of their communities and making a variety of needed services available to students and their families.
Accessible preventive and basic physical, mental, and dental health is critical for at-risk students to learn effectively. The NASBHC works with schools across the country to establish in-school clinics to remove barriers to education.
Research shows that low-income students lose much of what they gain in class after the school day and over the summer. Enriching educational, recreational, and mentoring programs, such as those offered through afterschool programs, enhance learning and help narrow the achievement gap.
Comprehensive strategies require time to build. Here are a set of evidence-based components, from early childhood and parenting supports to after-school and summer enrichment programs, to draw on as models for starting points.