Exploding in popularity around the world, community schools bring the resources of communities to bear in supporting children, youth, families, schools and neighborhoods to maximize learning outside as well as inside the classroom. This comprehensive approach to equitable school improvement helps break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by increasing the odds that youth will succeed in school and go on to lead productive lives.
BUCS aim to create learning environments that address the needs of schoolchildren and enhance student support so that youth can take full advantage of all classroom opportunities. Initiatives include efforts to provide afterschool care and summer programming, boost attendance rates and increase family engagement.
The long-term goal of the program is to develop university-assisted community schools throughout New York state. With this objective, all public schools would serve as hubs for their communities; supporting children, families and neighborhoods with programs including health and social services, enrichment, recreation and arts.
University-assisted community school model
University-assisted community schools are places and partnerships linking the school system, key community resources and higher education with an integrated focus on academics, support systems and civic engagement.
Community schools are currently being implemented by BUCS in eight upstate New York state school districts. Other districts are in the process of development. Each active district has a community schools coordinator to assess and support the specific needs of that school, its students and that community. Binghamton University students across all academic disciplines participate in BUCS through the Center for Civic Engagement's internships and volunteer opportunities.
In addition to supporting success for students pre-K to grade 12, BUCS enables University students to put their education into action in an important civic engagement activity. Our community also benefits, as this innovative effort to serve students living in economically disadvantaged communities helps increase the odds these youth will succeed in school.
To ensure BUCS is making an impact for all children, families and communities, a sophisticated evaluation process occurs in all districts and is overseen by a University research team. These researchers collect, analyze and use findings to guide best practices for continuous improvement in local community schools and share evidence with those developing these innovative models throughout the nation and the world.
Binghamton University has launched the nation's first certificate program in community schools. A part-time program that can be completed online in one year is admitting students now.
Binghamton University Community Schools
College of Community and Public Affairs
67 Washington Street
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000