Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
5 steps to kickstart community schools

5 Steps to Community Schools

Community Schools
Discover how to bring Community Schools to your district to improve learning and build healthier communities in harmony in five steps.

How to use this toolkit

Want to unite your community and transform your schools into places where all students can achieve their dreams? Follow these five steps to reshape public schools in your district into Community Schools to improve learning and build healthier communities in harmony.

Download the Toolkit



  1. Build Chapter Leader Support - Local leaders understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Executive Board and/or Rep Council resolutions.
  2. Build Member Support - Members understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Rep Council Resolution, Site-visits
  3. Build Community Support - Families and the community understand the importance and benefits of Community Schools. Ex: Community Town Halls, Home Visits
  4. Build an Agreement for Collaborative Planning - District commits to an open, inclusive planning process. Ex: District signs MOU agreeing to engage with interest-holders in planning meetings.
  5. Build Structures for Shared Decision-Making - District commits to permanent, ongoing, and inclusive shared decision-making governance structures. Ex: Permanent contract language describing the Community School steering committee.

Learn about how the Community Schools model united a community and transformed a school into a place where all students could reach their potential.

Learn more about the 5 steps below!

Build Leader Support

Build Member Support

Build Community Support

Build Agreement with District

Build Structures for Shared Decision Making

6. Apply to be part of the Community Schools Institute!

Apply to be part of the Community Schools Institute!

The NEA Implementation Institute for Community Schools (Implementation Institute) is a network of Community Schools committed to a transformational community-driven process.  The institute supports participants through monthly PLC meetings, customized trainings, coaching for local district and site teams, and access to a step-by-step guide to developing community schools.

To begin connecting with the Implementation Institute, please tell us a little bit more about your Community School goals, efforts, and aspirations, so that we can determine how best to support you and your team! 

Note: If your district/site has already been participating in the NEA CS Implementation Institute, and you just need to add new individuals from district/site teams, please use this form instead.

  • Current Page 1
  • Status of Your Community School Work - DISTRICT LEVEL
  • Status of Your Community School Work - SCHOOL LEVEL
  • Complete
What Stakeholder Group do you Represent?

Join Our Movement

We ask only what is right: equal opportunity for every student, every educator, every family. At home, in school, online, in Washington–there’s a right place for all of us to make a difference.
south division high school

‘Extreme Need’ for Mental Health Professionals

How community schools help meet the mental health needs of students, especially after the trauma of the pandemic.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.