When students step into a Children’s Aid community school, they receive more than a high-quality education.
The community school strategy delivers holistic services for children and families, connecting them to resources like health care, parent engagement programs, and nutritious food, in addition to fostering academic success.
Children’s Aid has been a pioneer in community schools, establishing its first more than 25 years ago. Today, we operate 20 community schools throughout New York City, including the south Bronx, East Harlem, Washington Heights, and Staten Island.
No two community schools look alike. When we partner with a school to make it a community school, we assess the needs of that student population and community. At all of our community schools, we place an emphasis on chronic absenteeism and offer services that improve attendance.
Each school develops an array of partnerships — in the areas of health, social services, academics for children and adults, sports, recreation, and culture — transforming schools into vital hubs
that benefit students, their families, and the surrounding community. Research shows that these benefits lead to improvements in student learning, health and attendance, stronger family engagement, improved school climate, and safer neighborhoods.
These services work to remove obstacles to a student’s education. Teachers can better focus on the curriculum because their students are healthier, have improved attendance, and have fewer social/emotional problems that interfere with the classroom instruction. The core academic curriculum is rigorous and integrated with extended learning and enrichment opportunities so that children have many hours for education and many ways to learn.
Before- and after-school, weekend, summer, and holiday programming expand children’s learning opportunities while coordinating with the students’ school-day curricula to create a coherent educational experience. Students use these hours to explore subjects not covered during the day or to gain new skills.
Our school-based health centers offer a proactive approach to keeping kids healthy and producing better school attendance. Serving more than 4,000 students annually, Children’s Aid’s school-based health centers provide comprehensive and continuous services at no cost to children and their families.
For many kids, Children's Aid’s school-based health centers are their first and only access to health care. By providing for the medical, dental, and mental health care of children at the most important developmental stages of their lives, and by providing that care in a convenient location where they are every day, Children’s Aid improves their chances of lifelong health and success.
With parental consent, our doctors, nurse practitioners, and trained health professionals work in collaboration with a family’s primary care physician to provide the high-quality health care that all children deserve and that their parents expect in a world-class city.
Helping children in all circumstances to become healthy, productive adults is the ultimate goal of the community schools strategy. These comprehensive schools provide the services, supports, and opportunities critical to the healthy development of all children, in addition to providing the rich and engaging academic curricula needed by students who are prepared to lead their communities in the future.