David Snyder

Whole Child Blogwatch: Full Service Spans the Globe

Full-service community schools, which work with families and the community to provide support systems to kids beyond what schools alone typically offer, are a hot topic these days. (For a detailed look at the topic, see the Summer 2008 Infobrief). One of the most extensive and publicized efforts has been Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone, which President Obama has indicated he'd like to see replicated in "Promise Neighborhoods".

Eariler this week, guest blogger Christopher Frascella at The Quick and the Ed used President Obama's interest in full-service schools as a springboard to explore what other efforts at such programs internationally tell us about successful implementation.

For example, he explains the importance of establishing a realistic plan for the scope and scale of a project, citing France's Zones d'Education Prioritaire as an example of a program that took on too much too rapidly and thus became less effective. He also describes lessons learned from Scotland's Integrated Community Schools, who benefited from an external Integration Manager to coordinate with community services. In the case of Parramore Kidz Zone in the Orlando area, efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program faced difficultly due to existing data reporting models that didn't fit with the project's scope.

As full-service community schools working to meet the needs of kids beyond academics continue to proliferate, we welcome comparative efforts to learn from the lessons of other projects around the globe.

What do you feel is the biggest obstacle to successful full-service community schools?

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