All In: Creating a Culture of Support

The Promise and Potential of Community Schools in New York City

August 2016

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We know that research supports the effectiveness of Community Schools, which aim to improve student achievement through strong partnerships between principals, parents, teachers and community-based organizations (CBOs). Yet in our experience, the path to implementing the Community Schools model is not always clear. While the New York City Office of Community Schools currently provides some overarching guidance on how a Community School should be structured, it falls short of providing an actionable, data-driven plan for the complex challenge of building and maintaining these components within a school.

In the absence of strong guidance, the working relationships between schools, their partner organizations, and families vary greatly across the city in design, community involvement, leadership style, expectations, accountability measures and staff professional development. As a result, Community School students in New York City receive inconsistent services from their (CBOs).

Community schools timeline


  • Deepen the CBO-school collaboration with co-implementation of the school’s vision and joint professional development.

  • Identify, target and track progress toward meeting student and community needs through needs assessments, growth goals and action plans.

  • Create a clear point of contact at The Office of Community Schools to share tools and resources and ensure customized support for each school.

About the Teacher Action Team

We are a diverse team of 12 teachers who met for several weeks to review research on Community Schools and examine the status quo in New York City Office of Community Schools.

Jaime Guarnaccia High School Special Education and English Language Arts Teacher at Bronx Leadership Academy II High School

Cynthia Hudson Middle School Special Education Teacher – English Language Arts and Social Studies at James Weldon Johnson (PS/MS 57)

Christine Montera High School Social Studies Teacher at East Bronx Academy for the Future

Wendy Morin Middle School Mathematics Teacher at Lola Rodriguez De Tio (JHS 162)

Ann Neary AP Literature Teacher, Journalism Teacher, Newspaper and Literary Magazine Advisor at DeWitt Clinton High School

Kinshasa Nicholas 3rd-grade Teacher at Alain L. Locke Elementary School (PS 208)

Caroline Onwuemeli-Peters Special Education Coordinator at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School

Teresa Ranieri 1st-grade Teacher at The Highbridge School

Andrew Silverstein 4th-grade Lead Teacher at South Bronx Classical Charter School

Christine Velez Middle School English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher at The Angelo Patri Middle School (MS 391)

Claudia Whittingham Elementary School Special Education Teacher, IEP Teacher, Coding Faculty at The William Floyd Elementary School (PS 59)

Kevin Yarborough Crisis Intervention Teacher at The Vida Bogart School for All Children @ 75