35 thoughts on “During Reading | Malone (2020) Community schools: educational change through partnerships

  1. To the students of ED253 LCs 2 and 4, please use this area to comment on the reading. Although this doesn’t afford nearly enough support, at least we have a platform to discuss as we read. You should be able to reply to each other as well.

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    1. On page two under Student Learning in Context, it reads, “A majority of students in America’s public schools live in low-income house- holds…This has created an increasing need to design supports inside and outside of the schools for students and families” Schools are important for learning, but they provide support for those who don’t have it. When I read this quote it reminded me of school lunches. A lot of students in the United States come from homes with food instability. Schools are able to provide meals for students. There are so many programs through schools that may have nothing to do with learning, but they contribute to the growth of students.

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      1. I really like this connection you made, Julia. Some people may not even realize it at first because they are lucky to have the privilege to not have to worry about necessities. But in reality, schooling can serve as a shelter or escape for students who may not have the most ideal life at home. There’s after school programs, counseling resources, and other aspects of schools that can help these issues. This is why research has shown community schools have such a positive impact, because they are able to connect with the community and families to create a welcoming, inclusive environment.

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      2. I completely agree with you julia. In my lesson we discussed how things like after school camps, summer camps, rec centers etc are outlets for kids. Like the school lunch example you give these are all things that contribute to the overall growth of students. I believe these are crucial to have because for some kids they may have a rough home life or other tough circumstances going on in their lives. Therefore, outlets and opportunities like these for kids whether its a lunch or place to go are so extremely important.
        -katie sheehy

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    2. In the very beginning of the reading, the first quote that stuck out to me was that we as educators need to “examine more deeply the role school-family-community partnerships play in the students’ holistic development.” I think that while school and academics are definitely a major part of our careers we need to also realize that there is more to a student than just academic knowledge. The term “holistic development” reminds me of the conversations that we have had previously about developing the whole child. Taking a closer look at students’ family and home lives will help to create the best opportunities needed for them to succeed.

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      1. I completely agree with you danica. A student’s family and home lives plays a critical role in how the child performs academically. For instance if a child has to worry about having food on the table, clean clothes etc it can become distracting to the child in school. This is why as discussed before things like school lunches can make such a difference in a child’s life. Looking at the child as a whole and not from the perspective of just seeing them for eight hours a day and then you’re off the clock can make such an impact on a child’s overall growth and success. The more successful a child’s home life is, like having necessities such as food, clean laundry etc will create a better student.
        -katie sheehy

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    3. On page 491, the approach of community schools is described as “educational change and equity are interwoven into the fabric of schools.” I really liked the way the word “interwoven” was used here. It is a perfect word to describe the action of community schools. By working to unite families, educators, and community partners these schools are doing everything they can to bring about equity into the lives of students at school. These community schools change their plans based on what their students are needing at the time. They truly are weaving together the community and providing what they can for the students.

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    4. On page 490, communities are described as “active spaces where students live and develop.” I believe that interacting with and being a part of a community is one of the most important things kids can do when growing up in schools. Everything you do in life involves some sort of community so we need to learn how to build and provide within the communities we are a part of. As teachers, we have to understand that we are creating a community for our students. This means we have to learn about them and create aspects for them in which they can grow most in every way.

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  2. I had never previously heard of the term ‘holistic development’ before reading this article. When I looked up the term, if found it “related to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”. I really like this definition that the article associates with a student’s development, because our educational system has such a big influence on students and their futures. It’s important to nourish every [art of the student including cultural and societal aspects, not just their content knowledge. This is why community schools seem to be good promoters for students’ holistic development. (p. 487, first paragraph)

    Reference: Holistic Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

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    1. I have also personally never heard of the term “holistic development.” I like how you supported the definition with your own positive opinion because I agree with you when you said that our educational system has such a big influence on students and their futures and that it is important to nourish every aspect of a student. This is important for community schools to develop their students into a positive whole person.

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    2. Nina your post made me reflect on how I view “holistic development”. When I think holistic I think of treatment of the whole person. For example, I was told JCU takes a holistic approach to admitting students. It makes sense to me that schools should have a holistic view on the development of students. Schools are institutions of learning. Many characterize that learning into memorizing math formulas or historical dates, but learning is so much more than that. Learning is growth of character and values. When I think back to my school experience to the teachers that took a holistic approach in their classrooms, I am reminded of the knowledge that has stuck with me today.

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  3. I had never heard of community schools before reading this article, but I think they’re really interesting. I admire that community schools go beyond standard schooling by making the extra effort to incorporate community interests. I think complementing a student’s education with nearby families, communities, and other external partnerships can serve to be very beneficial in a child’s whole development, not just the development of their knowledge. I like that these community schools stay open outside of academic hours and supply services to promote these partnerships between the school and the community. (p.491, first paragraph)

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    1. I had also never heard of community schools and I had no idea that I was immersed in a similar experience to what a community school would offer. In your comment, you mention that the schools stay open after hours and promote partnerships in order to form a bond between the school and the community. The resource for my current connection, The Avon Eagles Garden Club, fosters that same connection between community and school, staying open for prolonged periods of time and putting on events such as the Mother’s Day planting event, vegetable sales that benefit the garden, and Christmas tree decorating. Member of the community and students come together to make these events happen, bringing the community closer together than it has ever been.
      http://www.thevillagernewspaper.com/?s=avon+east+school+garden

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  4. I also think these connections about community/family partnerships are extremely important in classrooms but are not given enough attention. At least in my educational experience, little to no time spent in my K-12 education learning about much of the cultural and societal aspects of the world around us and hoe to feel and interact with it. This is unfortunate because as the article mentions, developing the ability to think critically about the significance of family and community and knowing more about topics that are relevant and linked to life outside of school is so important to fostering the whole student. (p. 493, last paragraph)

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    1. I think it is very interesting to hear that you learned very little in school about the cultural and societal aspects of the world around us, and how to feel and interact with it. While my time in school growing up consisted of a lot of learning about the cultural and societal aspects of the world around us, I can say I am fortunate to have learned a lot about this topic throughout my education from a young age. From the time I was very little, I can say I am thankful to have been able to grow such a deep understanding and awareness about people and what factors can contribute to their daily lives. I think it is important that you brought awareness to what the article mentioned about developing an ability to think critically about the importance of family and community, and how related topics outside of school are important to helping a student grow. I think this is so important in helping students obtain needed qualities that they are required to have in the world around them. Although it is unfortunate that you did not learn a lot about this topic, you are at least now aware that you can teach this topic to your own students a lot more often than how often you were taught it. It is great that you realize the importance of this topic and that it is very important for students to learn about frequently in school.

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      1. I agree with this. I think that not learning about cultural and societal aspects at a young age is a loss, but the gain of information now is what’s most important. A lot of people lack the ability to think critically about the inequality throughout a community, failing to recognize that some kids come to school without adequate resources to learn. As a future educator, I think it is both important to recognize the need for equity in a community as well as teach the kids that are not effected by the inequality about their privilege. At Avon East, the garden grows food each season and has a donation based sale. Students and parents from the community do everything from harvesting, to packaging, to working the sale. Members of the community are then free to take what they need and donate if they wish. This serves both the students and the people of Avon, allowing the students to witness helping a friend in need of basic nutrition and making sure that the community is well fed and nourished.
        “The garden, on the south side of the school building, will include fruits and vegetables. All food will be donated to those in need. Neely plans to work with local churches to find those in need of food donations.
        “That’s another lesson for the kids and to give back to the community,” Neely said.” (Heideman, 2021)

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  5. PG. 4 – “Communities are active spaces where students live and develop, and where they observe the interplay of schools and broader social structures and systems.”
    I like this section because it plays on the connection that has to be formed between the community and the schools. For my current connection, I will be talking about the community garden that my mom and brother have started at a few of the elementary schools in Avon. During school hours, and also after-hours, there are events and educational spaces for students to learn about gardening, nutrition, and the world around them. This method of teaching connects the community (such as the city council, local farms that donate goods, and parents of the children that work in the fields that are studied) and the students together, making them feel like a part of the city.

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    1. I think what you did with the garden was a great way of learning, having fun, and engaging with the community all at the same time, which is what community schools are all about. I think this is also why they work so well, because they are able to provide those resources and experiences after school hours which allows families and community residents to engage together and develop. I wish I saw more interesting and beneficial engagements like this throughout my schooling experience.

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    2. I really like this idea Ella, and I think it is cool that you have such a personal connection to it. I also liked this section of the reading because communities are such an important part of my life and everyone else’s. I think that the outdoors are a great way to build more community within schools and also outside of schools. My elementary and middle schools attempted to do something like this too, but it never really got anywhere which is disappointing. It would have been a fun activity to participate in and become a part of more communities.

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  6. As a teacher, I want to make sure that the community organizations within the community of my school as well as others schools in the area have a positive impact on the students and their growth. I want to acquire hardworking and positive people in the afterschool programs, summer programs and camps, museums, libraries, and recreational centers of my school community to strongly benefit the development of students. Where communities are marginalized, I want to bring a powerful team of people together to help grant equal success and opportunities to students who cannot speak up and get what they deserve. I want to not only make sure my community is safe and equal, but I want to make sure other communities are too. It all starts with creating strong partnerships with communities.

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  7. PG. 5 – “The institutional and governance structure of community schools underscores a shared belief that to support students, inclusive of academic and developmental dimensions, schools in partnership with the community ought to first facilitate conditions for learning.”
    I think this is a very important part of the article to consider. The spaces in which a student is forced to learn needs to be conducive to their needs. the Avon East Garden is a green space where teachers are able to hold their classes on the warmer days, allowing kids fresh air and interacting with the living environment around them. Having a class outside is beneficial, both for the student and the teacher. Teachers are able to base their lesson plans around the garden, fostering a greener worldview and motivation to be one with the environment. The students are then able to benefit from this and learn more about the world they live in. Additionally, this will have a large payoff for the Earth. If kids are learning at a younger age to take care of the planet, we might be able to help with things like global warming.
    “We need to give back to our teachers,”
    Neely said. “We need them to have a place
    where they can go to … I just think an outdoor
    space like that is important.” (Heideman, 2021)

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    1. This quote stuck out to me as well! I was just recently talking about the conditions in schools and how they can affect an educational experience. Your reflection on learning outside made me think of my learning environments. My high school didn’t have a lot of money, so we didn’t have AC and the furnace was old and broken regularly. It is hard to focus and learn when a room is boiling or felt like a freezer. Around my community there weren’t spaces dedicated to learning. Also, my schools weren’t very involved with the community. That’s why I think it is so important for schools to be able to provide a stable learning environment that is safe and comfortable.

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  8. PG. 7- “It requires us to think more deeply about the intersection of change, community and family partnerships, and youth development,
    and to approach the process of educational change from lens that there is connection between school and community partners, so that students’ learning and development environments are linked, relevant, and positively contribute to the development of whole self as a learner.”
    Tying back to everything talked about so far, the heart of community learning lies in the development as a student as a whole. It is our job, as future educators, to foster the whole students, not just their educational needs. Of course, the benefit of teaching math and reading is large, but helping students have a connection to their community and a better world view is the most rewarding part of their learning. I believe that community schools need to be more prevalent in todays society, as there is a need for change in the world that can only be fulfilled by the generation that is being educated at this very moment.

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  9. I think the ecology of equity theory demonstrates the purpose of bringing forth equal opportunities in schools. This theory advances “demographic, cultural, historical, and socioeconomic components” in a student’s learning as said in the article. It is necessary to make certain schools are operating in effective environments where they can interact healthily with families and communities and the structures and systems to expand learning opportunities for students. When resources are equal, poverty is increased and communities are inclusive, that is when the ecology of equity theory provides a sense of fairness behind its meaning.

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  10. I have never heard of the community schools strategy. I think it is interesting that it plays such a powerful role in the lives of students for their learning and success. According to a website called, https://www.americanprogress.org, the term community schools strategy is defined as “offering districts serving low-income communities a way to overcome structural obstacles that make it more difficult to give children a high-quality education.” I think the strategy of this is great because for low income communities to be given a way to get through their barriers that make is hard for their students to receive a good education provides them many more opportunities that can lead to further success in the process of their student’s learning developments. (pg. 491, paragraph 1)

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    1. I agree with you Katie. I think it’s a great strategy and opportunity to have for kids. We need more strategies like these to act as support for kids for sure. Especially this being implemented in low-income communities as home life plays such a critical role in not only a child’s academic success but the success of the whole child in the long run.
      -katie sheehy

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  11. On page 7 the reading says, “As the number of community schools and initiatives grow, the demand for ongoing evaluation and research grow alongside, including the need to examine the effectiveness of individual community school initiatives…” Community schools seem to be growing in number based on this article. The foundation of community schools aligns with what I think the school system needs. However, I do think research is very important. Research can show the comparison of community schools to others. If research Showa high success rate of community schools, the foundation of community schools can be adopted across the country.

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  12. The last paragraph mentions how we need to “reexamine tradition reform efforts…” and “…address inequity in education…” I believe one of the main issues within the school systems is inequity. Obviously, schools across the country don’t offer the same curriculum or opportunities. Community schools is trying to fix that. In regards to educational change Michael Fullan says it should be considered a “shared meaning” that “involves simultaneously individual and social change.” I couldn’t agree with this more. We need to act if we want to see this change.

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    1. I agree very much with this last paragraph and your thoughts on it Julia. Inequity is a major issue in not just our schools but our entire world. Action is required if we ever want to see change. I am in the class called Issues of Social Justice this semester, and we just had a discussion about how action is required for change. However, we also talked about how realistically we cannot achieve much alone. We need a community behind us to get things done.

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  13. On page 489 it says “ Given the rising inequities in our society, many schools are building meaningful partnerships with families and communities as essential actors that support positive
    student outcomes.” This takes me back to the lesson my group taught the class. These partnerships such as rec centers, libraries, summer camps etc are spaces for children to feel safe. A Lot of kids have a tough home life. It’s crucial that every child feels that they have a safe space to go to. Especially since a lot of times school is a safe space for kids then after they dont have anywhere to go. These new relationships are so important to not only keep children safer but to give them a little bit of happiness and normalcy in their lives.
    -katie sheehy

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  14. On page 493 it says “As the number of community schools and initiatives grow, the demand for ongoing evaluation and research grow alongside, including the need to examine the effectiveness of individual community school initiatives, the impact multiple coordinated interventions have within community schools, and the longitudinal effects of the various school-based interventions on the individual students, the schools, and their communities”. I agree with this statement. I think if schools are growing more research and attention needs to be put into it to make it the most successful it can be. Along with that its crucial to pay extra attention to make sure things are running smoothly in the schools and so that every child gets the support and help they need.
    – katie sheehy

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