With the launch of the New York City Community Schools Initiative (NYC-CS) in 2014, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has increased its focus on the implementation of a holistic strategy of education reform to address the social consequences of poverty as a means to improving student outcomes. NYC-CS is a strategy to organize resources in schools and share leadership among stakeholders so that academics, health and wellness, youth development, and family engagement are integrated into the fabric of each school.
Areté has been serving as the major Community Based Organization (CBO) for our partner – The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology (MS/HS223), one of the Community Schools in School District 7.
This week, a new research study titled “Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the NYC Community Schools Initiative” was released by the RAND Corporation, which examines the first three years of the Community Schools initiative and compares the performance of students in community schools with the performance of students in demographically-similar non-community schools.The research has revealed several positive outcomes of NYC-CS, including but not limited to the following:
- Students in community schools tend to have better academic achievement.
- NYC-CS had a positive impact on math achievement
- NYC-CS had a positive impact on credit accumulation for high school students
- Students in community schools are more likely to graduate on time.
- NYC-CS had a positive impact on on-time grade progression, and on high school students’ graduation rates.
- In 2017-18, graduation rates in community schools were 7.2 percentage points higher than comparison schools.
- Students in community schools miss fewer days of school.
- NYC-CS had a positive impact on student attendance for students in all grades and across all three years of the study.
- Chronic absenteeism was 7.3 percentage points lower in community elementary and middle schools, and 8.3 points lower in high schools.
- Students in community schools feel safer and more supported.
- For every 100 students in elementary and middle community schools, community schools had 10 fewer disciplinary incidents per year.
- NYC-CS was found to have a positive effect on students’ sense of connectedness to adults and peers for middle school students.
It has been an honor for Areté to work closely with MS/HS 223 on this initiative. We are looking forward to utilizing this initiative and continuously making positive impacts to our students and the school community.