Center for Community School Strategies

Increasing educational equity through the Community School model

The Center for Community School Strategies uses elements from the Community School model to help schools and communities develop, align and integrate resources and partnerships between schools, families and neighborhoods to create networks of support that lead to student success. Learn more about Community Schools >

In 2016, CSC announced the evolution of the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative (TACSI) Resource Center into the Center for Community School Strategies, an affiliated partner of the National Center for Community Schools, Children’s Aid Society, New York City. The new Center draws on nearly a decade of experience from TACSI implementing Community School strategies in Tulsa schools to help schools across the region build trust, community, and opportunity to revitalize schools and give children the vibrant futures they deserve.

Our Impact > Infographic

News & Highlights

Latest Newsletter Latest Results Report National Community School Standards 

April 2017 National Community School Standards now available!
April 2017 New Community Schools Report Released: Whole Child Framework for School Improvement
April 2017 Jenks East Elementary School begins the implementation phase of the Community School Model by hiring a Parent Liaison (Community School Coordinator)
March 2017 As a result of a study tour we helped conduct last October with David Kirp (see below), our partner district, Tulsa’s Union Public Schools, was the topic of his most recent New York Times article, “Who needs charters when you have public schools like these”
February 2017 The national education magazine Principal Leadership, which reaches 20,000+ school administrators monthly, connected with us seeking consultation for an upcoming article on building successful school-community partnerships. Our work and quotes from program manager Paige Whalen were featured in the magazine’s February 2017 issue. Read the article >
November 2016 DAVID KIRP, writer for the New York Times, Professor of Public Policy for University of California Berkeley, and author of many books including Kids First and Op-Ed The Sandbox Investment, visited Tulsa on Nov. 2. During his visit, he toured McAuliffe Elementary, a full-service Community School in Union Public Schools. Additionally, Mr. Kirp spent time with leadership from the Center for Community School Strategies and Union Public Schools to learn more about Community School work in Tulsa.
November 2016 Center staff member Christina Starzl Mendoza has accepted the position of Assistant to the Mayor for Community Development and Policy to assist Mayor G.T. Bynum on engagement and policy development with Tulsa’s Hispanic Community. Read the article in Tulsa World >

Our Focus Areas >

For More Information

Paige Whalen, Program Manager

This initiative aligns with CSC’s strategic plan.  Learn More

There are approximately 5,000 Community Schools and nearly 100 initiatives advancing Community Schools in the U.S.

Learn more about this growing national movement >


Overview Piece >

Our Work

We use our expertise to assist schools and districts to apply customized steps to developing a community schools plan of action. Based on the needs of each school, all or only a few of the six strategies for success may be addressed at any time. We do this through…

  • Planning, Consultation and Technical Assistance
  • Professional Development and Tailored Training
  • Promoting Effective School – Community Partnerships
  • Capacity Building and Resource Development
  • Data Based Decision Making

We also serve in national roles as…

Our History

The Community Service Council, in conjunction with the Tulsa Metropolitan Human Services Commission, launched the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative (TACSI) in 2007. The Initiative explored how integrating academics with social, health and other supports at voluntary school sites in Tulsa and Union Public School Districts could improve outcomes for students and families, as well as their local neighborhoods.

Lessons learned from TACSI helped create The Center for Community School Strategies, launched in 2016. The Center provides services to school districts and individual schools to help advance the six strategies recognized most critical to the success of community schools.

Our Strategic Approach

The recent report, Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools, February 2016, concluded that community schools around the country that achieve the most dramatic results by applying the following six strategies:

Curricula that is engaging, culturally relevant and challenging. An array of robust classes and expanded learning and development opportunities, including early childhood, that is highly flexible to meet diverse needs.

High quality teaching advancing student-centered learning while closely aligned
with an overall community school approach.

Effective supports for students—healthcare, social and emotional, life skills, enrichment experiences, family engagement—integrated with strong instruction, and often provided through community partners.

Positive discipline practices and relationship ties with students and families that promote attendance and reduce suspensions and other harsh punishments.

Authentic parent and community engagement in planning and decision-making, and in participation in expanded opportunities for learning critical to success of the school and the community.

Inclusive and expanded school leadership structure focused on building a culture of collective trust, founded on a well trained principal linked with a strong community school coordinator, effective teacher peer supports and open communication with a broad array of constituencies.

Improving Oklahomans’ Lives Through Research, Planning and Action