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Alameda County Office of Education, UCLA Center for Community Schooling To Co-Lead Technical Assistance Effort For California Community Schools Partnership Program

By John McDonald
Karen Hunter Quartz, Director, UCLA Center for Community Schooling

National Education Association, Californians for Justice also team in groundbreaking effort to further expansion of community schools in California  

As California launches an ambitious new effort to greatly expand the number and quality of community schools in the state, the Alameda County Office of Education  (ACOE) and the UCLA Center for Community Schooling have been selected by the California Department of Education to serve as the Lead Technical Assistance Center for the California Community Schools Partnership Program. The National Education Association and  Californians for Justice will also partner in the effort. 

Together, the organizations will form a project management team and advisory council to inspire, guide and support the planning, implementation, improvement and evaluation of community schools across the state.  As the lead Technical Assistance Center, they will support the development of and provide training, content, coaching and other assistance to Regional Technical Assistance Centers to support participating schools and districts across the state.

“Our job is to light the way and ACOE is committed to school community partners leading the way and supporting their vision of what they want their schools to be - in order to achieve true equality,” said Dr. Ingrid Lainez Roberson, ACOE Associate Superintendent of Academic Services.

The effort will incorporate the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) four cornerstone commitments, including asset-driven and strength-based practices, racially just and restorative school climates, powerful culturally proficient and relevant Instruction and shared decision making and participatory practices to inform and guide the work of the  Regional Technical Assistance Centers.

The Technical Assistance Center team envisions engaging participants in community school reform in three interrelated sets of learning activities including, communities of practice, targeted professional learning opportunities, and inquiry and engagement through storytelling and data use. 

The UCLA Center for Community Schooling (CCS) is a campus‐wide initiative to inspire and inform the development of community schools across the district, state, and nation. As co-lead in the new technical assistance effort, CCS will draw on its 15‐year record of supporting community school development, including as lead partner at two LAUSD community schools, thought partner to the LAUSD Community Schools Initiative, and as a Regional Training Center for University‐assisted Community Schools. CCS also works with and will engage UCLA’s Center X, a community of more than 100 educators working to transform public schooling and create a more just, equitable, and humane society, and with other schools and departments across UCLA that support whole‐child education and community development. 

“This new effort draws deeply on our experiences working collaboratively with school leaders, students, parents, and community-based partners to forge innovative schools that recognize and build on the ideas, assets and needs of local communities,” said Karen Hunter Quartz, the Director of the UCLA Center for Community Schooling.  “We are honored and excited to join with our partners and others across the state in this democratic movement to transform schools in ways that advance equity and learning.” 

The work of the California Community Schools Partnership Program lead Technical Assistance Center is funded by a three-year, $12 million contract from the California Department of Education.