It is important to start the school year with a plan for how you are going to organize your out-of-school time programs, align your efforts to school-wide themes, assess your impact, and communicate with others about what you are doing.  Below are several tools and templates to help you organize and execute your plans for the school year.

Community Schools Connect! - identifying quarterly themes for your school
Schools often have quarterly themes that can - and should be - reinforced throughout your community school programs, as well.  If your school doesn't have themes, starting them through your programs can be a nice way to get the ball rolling for your school. Themes like choices, changes, challenges, and connections push students think big and are easily applied to all subject matters. 

Plan Connections - building connections between classroom learning and out-of-school time programming
Community schools intentionally connect out-of-school time programs to classroom learning so that students have the opportunity to learn content in different ways that deepen their overall comprehension.  Use this tool to gather information from school teachers about their learning priorities.  Then work with out-of-school time staff and partners to identify activities that deepen classroom learning and opportunities to engage families as partners in their child's education, as well. 

This Week's Progress - for assessing a student's weekly progress
This assessment tool is quick and easy to administer to students to help them think about the progress they are making and how they are making it. It also gives you tangible information about how they are developing.  When administered regularly you will likely see significant changes in the way students identify their progress and describe themselves, all indicators of social-emotional development. 

Parent Survey - to gather information about communicating with and offering resources for parents

Use this survey to gather information from parents about how you can best communicate with them about what you and your school are doing as well as to gather ideas from them about the types of resources they would like your community school to offer for parents. 

School Newsletter
One of the best ways to communicate with parents about your community school, the programs you are offering for students and adults, and your accomplishments is through a school newsletter.  The following templates are available in English and Spanish and are offered in Word so that you can easily customize it for your school. 

Community School Newsletter - Basic Template - English
Sample Newsletter - English
Sample Newsletter - Spanish



More Common Core resources can be found here
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