The study took place in 510 elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City, 113 of which were Community Schools.
A total of 113 Community Schools and 397 comparison schools participated in the study. In these schools, 17% of students were English learners, 88% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and 23% had a disability. Fifty-three percent of students were Hispanic or Latino; 40% were Black, non-Hispanic; 3 percent were Asian, non-Hispanic; and 2 percent were White, non-Hispanic.
New York City Community Schools strive to establish school-community collaborations so that academics, health and wellness, and family empowerment are incorporated in the climate and culture of the schools. There are four core features of community schools: (1) collaborative leadership and practices, which includes data-informed planning, public-private partnerships, and needs assessments; (2) family and community engagement, which includes family nights, family leadership training, and specialized programs such as adult education classes and home visits; (3) expanded learning time and opportunities, which includes hands-on learning experiences, summer programming, and cofacilitation of programming with community based organizations before, during, and after school; and (4) integrated student supports, which includes mental health, reproductive health, vision screenings, mentoring, and vulnerable youth services such as homelessness and immigration services.
Comparison schools did not implement the New York City Community Schools model. Students in these comparison schools received public school instruction as usual.
Support for implementation
The New York City Community Schools model was initially funded with $52 million. The Office of Community Schools assigned each school a program manager to coach school staff and help them develop school-community collaborations. Each program manager was responsible for up to 15 schools. The Office of School Health assigned a school mental health manager to support implementation efforts across multiple schools for wellness programs and integrated student supports. The program is also supported with partnerships from various community-based organizations.