The legislative definition of “community schools” is intentionally broad and anticipates the possibility that community schools might vary significantly in their locally-developed goals and intervention programs. The needs of students and their families may vary by community, as does the array of existing resources available in the surrounding area. This leads to a broad set of possible strategies that may imply different expected outcomes and evaluation processes.
The grant program requires pilot schools to meet certain application criteria. Applications require schools to submit an audit or needs assessment, a community resources assessment, an outline of plans and goals based on the needs assessment and developed in collaboration with community partners, and a budget. Schools that receive awards will be required to develop an evaluation plan and to submit program evaluation reports to the Maine Department of Education (MDOE). This report is intended to assist schools in developing an evaluation plan that is feasible, cost efficient, and useful for informing whether their programs are providing expected results.
Fairman, Janet C. Ph.D. and Johnson, Amy, "Recommendations and Resources for Evaluating Community School Programs" (2016). School Improvement. 5.