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Community Schools Have Been a Success for NYC Students

Community Schools Have Been a Success for NYC Students

Since their creation in 2014, the city’s Community Schools have improved outcomes for students throughout the five boroughs.


The New York City Department of Education released the NYC Community Schools Impact Report on Jan. 28, which outlined how the Community Schools initiative has helped students across the city since its inception in 2014. The evaluation tracked 113 Community Schools for three years and found that they have significantly improved student outcomes, such as math test scores and graduation rates, when compared to non-Community Schools. The initiative launched in 2014 to integrate academics, health, and social services inside schools to better connect students and families to support through community-based organizations.

Beyond bettered math test scores and graduation rates, Community Schools also saw reductions in chronic absenteeism and reductions in school-based incidents in elementary and middle schools.

“New York City's efforts to improve our schools acknowledge the importance both of in-class instruction and the effects of poverty, historic inequalities, and lack of resources, and we now have strong evidence showing that the comprehensive services offered by Community Schools improve children’s educational outcomes," said Matt Klein, executive director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity.

During the 2017-18 school year, the graduation rate for community schools was 7.2 percentage points higher than for non-community schools. Over a three-year study, CS high school students accumulated on average 1.3 more credits per student, per year compared to students in non-community schools. When it comes to math scores, students in grades 3 and 8 tested in the 54th percentile, compared to the 50th percentile for the average NYC student. And, Community Schools saw an average of .10 fewer disciplinary incidents per student per year at the elementary and middle school levels. Disciplinary incidents decreased among students with special needs and black students at a even greater rate.



“When we work together to meet the needs of the whole child our children succeed, our schools succeed, and our city succeeds. This means not only challenging our students academically, but also providing them eye glasses, mental health support, coats and shoes,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Our Community Schools are going above and beyond, improving students’ lives each year, and serving as an example of how we advance equity and excellence for all.”

Read the full Community Schools Impact Report, which was conducted independently by the nonprofit RAND Corporation, to see how Community Schools have furthered impacted students. There are 267 Community Schools serving 135,000 students citywide, making NYC’s effort the largest Community Schools initiative in the country. The initiative joins May Bill de Blasio’s 3-K for All and Pre-K for All programs under the Equity and Excellence for All agenda.

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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