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UCLA Center for Community Schooling: Strategies for Recovery From the Pandemic’s Learning Shortfalls

The third issue of the journal “Community Schooling” is now online, published by the UCLA Center for Community Schooling (CCS).

“As journalists across the country cover community schools as ‘a growing phenomenon in the educational landscape,’ the spotlight is often on wraparound services as a COVID recovery strategy,” write the editorial board, led by Karen Hunter Quartz, director, UCLA Center for Community Schooling, and Marisa Saunders, CCS associate director for research. “Yet, in the low-income communities of color hit hardest by the pandemic, the story is as much about power as it is provisions. Our third issue shares how educators, families and students in Durham, North Carolina embraced their collective agency to take back local public schools in the wake of a state takeover plan. 

“Their work to develop community schools involved both reflection and action, praxis, or what we call public scholarship. A living example of democratic education, the Durham team created space to collectively grapple with big ideas and theories in the context of daily school practice.” 

The issue includes a school case on Lakewood Elementary School, an historic and diverse public school in Durham, which focuses on a probing conversation between Lakewood’s former principal and community school coordinator.  A discussion guide follows the case to inspire other schools to think and talk about their history, core beliefs and opportunities to strengthen their community-based vision for teaching and learning. 

A teacher scholarship feature includes a short video of Durham educators sharing their insights on empowering leadership. In connection to this, the UCLA Center for Community Schooling will be re-releasing with a new forward our 2021 research brief, “Collaborative Leadership as the Cornerstone of Community Schools: Policy, Structures, and Practice.” This brief includes a set of teacher-developed tools and activities for creating teams, making decisions, and taking action. A feature on Policy ABCs (Actions, Briefs, and Commentaries) looks at  “Durham Policy Implementation: Organizing for Community Schools” with an interactive infographic that shares the team’s actions from 2015 to the present, with links to resources and supporting organizations. 

Students from North Carolina Central University and Duke University share their research in an engaging podcast titled, “Ecosystems of Change: University-Assisted Community Schools Research in Durham, North Carolina,” discussing how they investigated ways to better prepare university students for engagement in local public schools and reflect on their own growth and development through these research experiences. Tackling important ideas such as deficit perspectives, institutionalized racism, and empathy, the students share their own learning and pose a challenge for their peers across the country.

Visit this link to read the Fall 2022 issue of “Community Schooling.”

For previous issues, visit the UCLA Center for Community Schooling website.