The community school approach is reported to have positive effects on student outcomes including school readiness, attendance, academic achievement, high school graduation rates, sense of belonging and overall wellness for students, families and community members. Many CLC strategic plans focus on supporting one or more of these outcomes, over 3 to 5 years. LEARN's Provincial Resource Team (PRT) supports CLC leadership teams with tools and resources to help with the planning process.
When developing or updating an action plan, CLCs first conduct a needs assessment with students, their families and community members, to identify the key areas that need to be addressed. The Needs Assessment Toolkit offers an overview as well as some sample surveys for the different stakeholder groups.
Once needs/gaps are identified, CLC leadership teams will establish 2-3 goals they will focus their work on for the next 3-5 years and determine what steps can be taken in the short term (1-year) towards achieving those goals (also referred to as outcomes). The Theory of Change (ToC) kit provides the most comprehensive way of approaching the strategic planning process.
How will CLCs know they are making a difference?
The Indicator Toolkit lists some of the most popular outcome areas and indicators for each goal or outcome. Once these have been selected, further instructions on data collection processes can be found in the Data Collection page (go to page ).
Some programs and projects require additional funds to be sourced. The grant list highlights some of the most popular opportunities while the Funding Proposals webinar explains how to connect with foundations.
Resources and tools listed below will guide the process of identifying the needs, selecting and phrasing the goals (or outcomes), identifying indicators of success, locating funds, sharing the plan with the school and the community, and productivity tools to put the plan into action.
Many CLCs already do a great job when it comes to completing grant applications. Writing and submitting proposals to foundations and corporations can also be an excellent source of potential funding. While this process requires an investment of time and energy, it can prove to be less challenging when strategically undertaken.
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