Many barriers exist to student learning such as medical care and technology access but educators alone can’t be expected to address all of the needs of students. To do so requires a community-wide approach but schools often don’t have the capacity to establish and implement meaningful, authentic community partnerships that can provide students and teachers with additional resources and support.
The community school strategy promotes a more equitable education by meeting student and family needs in a more comprehensive way. Forward has supported both the Little Rock and Batesville School districts to implement effective community school strategies. In 2021, Forward also introduced and guided legislation to elevate community schools as a high-impact option for schools in Arkansas, especially those with a high population of economically disadvantaged students.