Community schools promote positive, equitable outcomes by providing students and families with the physical and mental health, academic, and extracurricular supports needed to thrive.
Community schools serve as hubs that bring families, communities, and partners together to remove barriers to learning. Using an asset-based approach, community schools strive to strengthen connections to generate improved student outcomes.
Maryland continues to prioritize community schools through the Blueprint for Maryland's Future. This landmark legislation is designed to improve the quality of education for Mayland students and close achievement gaps. Included in this legislation are Concentration of Poverty grants for schools that serve large populations of students experiencing poverty. These grants aim to serve students, families, and the community by establishing community schools.
While all schools provide support to students, community schools work in collaboration with community partners, local governments, and other stakeholders to provide wraparound services that address barriers to learning and success. Community schools leverage the power of neighborhoods through asset-based approaches that strengthen the connections between home, school, and communities and create change for the people that they serve.
Community schools work in collaboration with community partners, local governments, and other stakeholders to identify and address structural and institutional barriers to achievement. Leveraging the power of the collective allows community schools to provide resources to students and families where they need it the most—neighborhoods that have been historically underfunded and underserved. Community schools provide a wide array of wraparound services that enhance student’s ability to be successful.
Extended learning time
Extended school year
Safe transportation to and from school
Vision and dental services
Expanded school-based health center services
Additional social workers, counselors, and psychologists
Additional mentors and restorative practice coaches
Healthy food in-school and out-of-school
Access to mental health practitioners
In Maryland, a community school is any school that receives Concentration of Poverty Grants. The grants are formula-based and awarded to schools on an annual basis. The determining factor for eligibility is the 4-year average of the percentage of the school’s students living in poverty (excluding 2020-2021 school year), as determined by the compensatory education enrollment. This is essentially the number of students receiving free and reduced price meals.
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation provides Concentration of Poverty Grants for personnel and wraparound services in community schools and requires needs assessments and implementation plans to be submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education.
Used to hire a Community School Coordinator and a professional Healthcare Practitioner. After those positions are filled, the community school can use the remaining funds to provide wraparound services.
Calculated based on the number of students living in poverty attending the school. The grants are awarded to the school based on a sliding scale and are used to provide a wide variety of wraparound services.
Learn more about community schools in Maryland, Concentration of Poverty Grants, the Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports, and other related programs created or expanded through the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
View the Blueprint Deep Dive:
Coordinated Community Supports in Maryland Presentation
Derek AndersonExecutive Director, Community SchoolsOffice of School Improvement and School TransformationOffice: (410) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maryland State Board of Education and State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury hosted a virtual roundtable with families, community school coordinators, and health practitioners to discuss successes and ideas on improving community school partnerships.
View the Community Schools Roundtable
Administering the Maryland Needs Assessment in Community Schools Presentation
Community Schools: Needs Assessment Form
Community Schools Needs Assessment Sign Off Sheet
English Learners (ELs) in Maryland's Community Schools Presentation
Blueprint Deep Dive: Coordinated Community Supports in Maryland Presentation
A Practical Guide to Advancing Community Schools Strategies (Partnership for the Future of Learning)
Leading with Purpose and Passion: A Guide for Community School Directors (Children’s Aid)
Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools (RAND)
Community Schools as an Effective School Improvement Strategy: A Review of the Evidence (Learning Policy Institute)
Coalition for Community Schools (Institute for Educational Leadership)
What is Collective Impact? (The Collective Impact Forum - FSG and Aspen Institute)