Center for Financing School-Community Partnerships

Helping communities build smart and sustainable systems of supports for children and youth

The Challenge

Despite decades of education reforms, the US is facing an education success shortage; too few students graduate from high school ready for work or for continued education.

School-community partnerships help connect schools, city agencies, non-profit partners, businesses, and families to create a web of support for students. The most successful partnerships adopt a “systems” focus to encourage more effective program design, create efficiencies in management and resource allocation, and lay a foundation suitable for scaling and sustainability. Too often, however, we see partnerships happening in a more limited fashion—in a single school, based on short-term funding, with a narrow set of partners, and without an infrastructure to support growth and sustainability.

The Opportunity

At FourPoint, we see an opportunity to get smarter about school-community partnerships. Through a focus on financing, we work with leaders to foster strategic and sustainable partnerships that pave the way for learning and improved outcomes.

Our approach aligns in-school and out-of-school supports with learning goals while bringing coherence to the many programs that often operate within a school, district or community.

Our Approach

Through the Center for School-Community Partnerships, we support schools, districts and communities by:

Providing direct TA

on linking school-community partnerships to education goals, tapping and organizing resources, creating multi-year sustainable financing plans, and building district capacity to support partnerships.

Developing and sharing knowledge

on financing school-community partnerships, including braiding public and private sources, getting clear about allowable uses of various funding streams, building structures that open access to those funds, and sharing examples of systems-level funding in action.

Convening and facilitating learning networks of district and/or city leaders

to address financing challenges and explore new strategies.

Supporting the work of national partners

to amplify the drumbeat for creating systems of support for all students

Providing strategic support and counsel to foundations and national non-profits

interested in investing in and scaling up effective school-community partnerships.

FourPoint looks forward to collaborating with other national organizations supporting the expansion of effective school-community partnerships across the country. Modeling the approach that we hope to support in communities, we see our own partnerships as essential to moving this work further, faster, and with greater benefit to students, families, and communities.

Related Resources

Governance Structures for Afterschool Systems: Three Models

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FourPoint has been paying close attention to how city afterschool systems across the country are governing their work. With support from The Wallace Foundation, we’ve developed a summary and infographic to share what we’ve learned.
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Infographic – Governance Structures for Afterschool Systems: Three Models

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This infographic, developed with support from The Wallace Foundation, lays out key features of three emerging models of city afterschool system governance.
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Policy, Partnership and Progress: Expanding Learning Opportunities in Connecticut

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With support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Ford Foundation, FourPoint took a close look at how federal, state, and local policies, political climates, and philanthropic investments have shaped the state of expanded learning opportunities in Connecticut. The resulting case study is instructive for philanthropic and education leaders alike.
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FourPoint has developed a City Afterschool System Framework to help cities that are building—or considering building—city afterschool systems. The one-page framework is free to use and can be adapted by local communities to meet their needs.
Download the Presentation

Contact Us

Get in touch with the experts at FourPoint Education Partners.