Giving Compass' Take:

• Community schools offering needed services beyond education see academic benefits for students. 

• How can philanthropy support community services to help schools? What are the most effective methods for deciding which services are most appropriate for each location? 

• Learn how one school installed a laundry machine to improve attendance and academic achievement

Schools that offer dental care, mental health counseling, food assistance and other services have a significant and measurable positive impact on student achievement, according to research released this week by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Education Policy Center.

The 26-page brief, “Community Schools: An Evidence-based Strategy for Equitable School Improvement,” found that schools that collaborate with nonprofits and government agencies to provide extra on-campus services in many cases showed increases in attendance, graduation rates and academic achievement, especially in math and reading.

Community schools, which have been gaining popularity for the past decade as Congress increased funding for them, are traditional public schools that serve as community hubs for families and students. Services can range from health care to job training for parents and teens to English classes to high-quality after-school and summer programs.

The researchers also found that the most successful community schools feature ample collaboration between school leaders, parents, students and those providing the services, so services are tailored to what the community needs and can change when necessary.

Read the full article on community schools by Carolyn Jones at EdSource