Evaluation of Community Schools: An Early Look

Joy Dryfoos
Coalition for Community Schools


Of the 49 community school initiatives that submitted self-evaluations for this study, 36 reported academic gains since the programs’ inceptions. General success was determined mainly by four factors: learning and achievement (including academic gains), social behavior and healthy youth development, family well-being and community life. Dryfoos concludes that “community school initiatives are moving in the right direction.” Most of the academic gains were in math and reading scores; 11 schools reported reductions in substance abuse, teen pregnancy, disruptive behavior in the classroom or improvement in general behavior; at least 12 programs reported increases in parent involvement. The Success Program in Des Moines Public Schools reported that as a result of putting full-time nurses in schools, 97 percent of the children were immunized.


The report acknowledges that the research is limited, given the great variety in the programs’ ages, types and quality of self-evaluations. However, the bulk of this report contains program descriptions, which show some of what statistics cannot. The report also reviews common characteristics of community schools, including being open to the community before, during and after school hours, and being jointly operated by a school system and one or more community organizations. 45 pages. Free. Available online only. Coalition for Community Schools, 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Ste. 310, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 822-8405.

– Amy Bracken 


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top