State law encourages districts to establish school-community partnerships to address student needs.
Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 9921. Definitions
2. Community school. “Community school” means a public elementary or secondary school that:
- A. Participates in a community-based effort to coordinate and integrate educational, developmental, family, health and other comprehensive services through community-based organizations and public and private partnerships; and
- B. Provides access to services under paragraph A to students, families and the community, such as access during the school year to services before school hours, after school hours and during the weekend, as well as access to such services during the summer.
Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 9922. Establishment of a community school
Beginning October 1, 2015, a school board may designate an existing school or establish a new school as a community school.
- 1. Community school plan goals. A community school shall collaborate with community partners to provide services to students, families and community members that promote student success while addressing the needs of the whole student. A school board may designate or establish a community school as long as the community school plan developed by the school board is consistent with the following goals:
- A. Improving student learning and development by providing support for students to enable them to graduate college-ready and career-ready;
- B. Improving the coordination and integration, accessibility and effectiveness of services for children and families, particularly for students attending high-poverty schools, including high-poverty rural schools;
- C. Enabling educators and school personnel to complement and enrich efforts to improve academic achievement and other results related to student learning and development;
- D. Ensuring that children have the physical, social and emotional well-being to come to school ready to engage in the learning process every day;
- E. Promoting and enabling family and community engagement in the education of children;
- F. Enabling more efficient use of federal, state, local and private sector resources that serve children and families;
- G. Facilitating the coordination and integration of programs and services operated by community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations and state, local and tribal governments;
- H. Engaging students as resources for their communities; and
- I. Engaging the business community and other community organizations as partners.
Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 9923. Designation of community schools.
The department is authorized to designate 3 community schools established in accordance with this chapter beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. For the 2020-2021 school year, the department is authorized to designate 5 community schools established in accordance with this chapter. Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, the department may biannually designate 10 additional community schools established in accordance with this chapter. The department shall annually inform school administrative units of the application process and deadlines and make that information and appropriate forms available on its publicly accessible website. The commissioner shall provide state funding to the school administrative units in which the designated community schools are located and may employ a state community school coordinator to implement this designation program.