Community Schools


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Five possible schools will receive funding to support the development of a Community School for SY 2022-2023. First established by Maine Legislative Action of the First Regular Session of the 127th Legislature, in the Budget bill, Public Law 2015, Chapter 267, the Department of Education is authorized to designate and provide funding for 5 community schools, established in accordance with 20-A MRSA Chapter 333. In providing funds under this subsection, the Commissioner shall give priority to a qualified school administrative unit in which at least 40% of the students are economically disadvantaged students, as determined pursuant to section 15675, subsection 2 and that has more economically disadvantaged students than other qualified school administrative units under this subsection. The Commissioner shall provide state funding directly to the school administrative units in which the designated community schools are located.  Annual state allocations for this pilot project may not exceed $250,000.




Informational Session - Community Schools

 What is a Community School?

A “Community school” is a public elementary or secondary school that:

  1. Participates in a community-based effort to coordinate and integrate educational, developmental, family, health and other comprehensive services through community-based organizations and public and private partnerships; and
  2. Provides access to services under paragraph A to students, families and the community, such as access during the school year to services before school hours, after school hours and during the weekend, as well as access to such services during the summer.

Video - What Is a Community School


What is a Community Partner?

 A “Community partner” is a provider of one or more of the following services to students, families, or community members:

  1. Primary medical or dental care;
  2. Nurse home visitation services;
  3. Mental health treatment and counseling services;
  4. Developmentally appropriate physical education activities;
  5. Academic enrichment activities;
  6. Specialized instructional support services;
  7. Teacher home visits;
  8. Programs designed to improve student attendance at school, including programs that assist students who are truant or who have been suspended or expelled;
  9. Mentoring and other youth development programs, including peer mentoring and conflict mediation;
  10. Community service and service-learning opportunities;
  11. Early childhood education;
  12. Programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy;
  13. Parenting education activities;
  14. Parenting leadership development activities;
  15. Child care services;
  16. Youth and adult job training, internship opportunities and career counseling services;
  17. Nutrition education;
  18. Adult education, including instruction in English as a second language;
  19. Remedial education and enrichment activities, including expanded learning time;
  20. Summer or after-school enrichment and learning experiences;
  21. Legal services;
  22. Juvenile crime prevention and rehabilitation programs;
  23. Homelessness prevention services; or
  24. Any appropriate services and programs authorized by a community school that are consistent with the services and programs specified in items A to W. 
What are the Requirements?

1. Establishment of a community school
A school board may designate an existing school or establish a new school as a community school.
2. Community school plan goals
A community school shall collaborate with community partners to provide services to students, families and community members that promote student success while addressing the needs of the whole student. A school board may designate or establish a community school as long as the community school plan developed by the school board is consistent with the following goals:

Improving student learning and development by providing support for students to enable them to graduate college-ready and career-ready; Improving the coordination and integration, accessibility and effectiveness of services for children and families, particularly for students attending high-poverty schools, including high-poverty rural schools; Enabling educators and school personnel to complement and enrich efforts to improve academic achievement and other results related to student learning and development; Ensuring that children have the physical, social and emotional well-being to come to school ready to engage in the learning process every day;

3. Audit
Following the designation or establishment of a community school, but prior to the opening of a community school, a school board shall conduct:

A community needs audit to identify the academic, physical, social, emotional, health, mental health and civic needs of students and their families that may affect student learning and academic achievement; A community resource assessment of potential resources, services and opportunities available within or near the community that students, families and community members may access and integrate into the community school; and For an existing school that has been designated as a community school, an operations and instructional audit ( Describe how you will integrate the community needs of students affecting learning and achievement and the services/resources  that families can access within the facilities  structure of your school).
  • Promoting and enabling family and community engagement in the education of children;
  • Enabling more efficient use of federal, state, local and private sector resources that serve children and families;
  • Facilitating the coordination and integration of programs and services operated by community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations and state, local and tribal governments;
  • Engaging students as resources for their communities; and
  • Engaging the business community and other community organizations as partners.

4. Plan
A school board shall develop a community school plan for each school designated or established as a community school.

When developing a community school plan for the establishment of a new community school, the school board shall use the results of the community resource assessment under subsection 3, paragraph B to address the specific needs identified in the community needs audit under subsection 3, paragraph A When developing a community school plan for the designation of an existing school as a community school, the school board shall use the results of the community resource assessment under subsection 3, paragraph B to address the specific needs identified in the community needs audit under subsection 3, paragraph A and the operations and instructional audit under subsection 3, paragraph C. A community school plan must coordinate, integrate, and enhance services for students, families and community members at the community school to improve the academic achievement of students and increase family and community involvement in education. A community school plan must include cost estimates or an operational budget for the specified educational, developmental, family, health, and other comprehensive services to be provided by the community school. When developing a community school plan for the establishment of a new community school, a school board shall designate a community school coordinator to manage the partnerships with community partners participating in the community school plan.

5. Evaluation
Evaluation measures may include participation data, surveys of community engagement, data relevant to the expected program outcomes, or other relevant indicators. Annual reports will be required, and continued funding will be subject to demonstration that the proposed activities are implemented as described. 




Julie A. Smyth
Director, Office of School and Student Supports
Phone: 207-592-0949

Ann Hanna
Community Schools Consultant