As Community Partnership School efforts advance it is important that core components be established commonly when replicating sites.
To ensure consistency of quality programming as well as strategy and framework fidelity, UCF’s Center for Community Schools has developed a process to certify Community Partnership Schools that demonstrate alignment with core components as defined in the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School™ Standards.
Once a Community Partnership School has registered to join the UCF-certification planning track or has become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School, the school is eligible to receive Community Partnership School development technical assistance and to submit for any available planning or implementation grants.
Process information, the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School Planning Registration Form and Intent-to-Certify Application, and the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School™ Standards can be found here on the Center for Community Schools’ website.
Schools may register for the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School planning track or apply to become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School at any time.
How to Become Certified
Community Partnership Schools are ready to begin the certification process when:
- Core partners have committed to a long-term partnership and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- All or most core positions/roles are in place (director, after school coordinator, school health programs coordinator, parent coordinator)
- Programming is strongly aligned with the needs of the school and community
To become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School, schools must complete steps 1-5 below. The Center for Community Schools completes steps 6-7.
- 1. Submit Planning Registration Form. Complete and submit a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School Planning Registration Form. This form registers you to join the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School planning track and enables you to receive Center for Community Schools assistance with planning, implementation and evaluation.
- 2. Submit Intent-to-Certify Application. Complete and submit a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School Intent-to-Certify Application. This application notifies the Center for Community Schools that you are ready to begin the certification process. Once submitted, you will be contacted by the UCF Center for Community Schools and sent a packet of certification materials to help you with the process. A timeline will be established for projected certification material completion as well as a date set for the external review.
- 3. Complete Internal Self-Review. Included in the certification packet, the Internal Self-Review is a diagnostic tool which should be completed collaboratively by core Community Partnership School partners. Indicators within each standard should be reviewed and rated by performance levels of Not Using, Developing, Satisfactory or Excelling (see guidelines for each rating below). Each standard should also include a brief narrative summarizing areas of strength, improvement, and plans for sustaining efforts and improving efforts, as well as any innovative strategies that align with the standard. This Internal Self-Review is intended to capture Community Partnership School framework elements, strengths, needs for improvement and innovative strategies. Responses should not be lengthy or take an extraordinary amount of time.
- 4. Gather evidence. Gather evidence and include any documentation to demonstrate achievement toward standard indicators. Use documentation you already have, whenever possible. You can always provide additional in-depth information to the external review team when they visit if needed. Be sure to label each piece of evidence with the related standard indicator number (i.e., 1.1, 2.4, etc.).
- 5. Conduct stakeholder surveys. Conduct confidential stakeholder surveys using the Community Partnership School surveys included in the certification materials packet. All core partners, key parents and community members, students, and staff should complete a survey. These surveys should be collected and given to the center for external review.
- 6. Complete external review. At least one (1) peer reviewer and reviewers from the Center for Community Schools Innovation will appraise your school using the same diagnostic tool used for the Internal Self-Review. External reviewers will also gather information through stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and review the internal self-review documents, surveys and evidence.
- 6. Complete external review. Reviewers from the UCF Center for Community Schools and at least one (1) peer reviewer will appraise your school using the same diagnostic tool used for the Internal Self-Review. External reviewers will also gather information through stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and review the internal self-review documents, surveys and evidence.
- 7. Determine certification status. To become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School, schools must score at least 50% in each standard. Within 6 weeks of completion of the external review, the UCF Center for Community Schools will determine certification status. Schools which do not reach certification status will be given on-going support and may apply for certification once a year until certification status is reached. Schools which reach certification status must re-certify every three years to keep their certification status.
UCF-Certified Community Partnership School™ Standards
Schools must meet 12 standards, listed below, to become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School. To receive a complete list of standards and indicators, please email Amy.Ellis@ucf.edu.
STANDARD 1: Partnership
STANDARD 2: Governance, Structure, and Leadership
STANDARD 3: Foundational Principles
STANDARD 4: Staffing
STANDARD 5: Integrated Community Partnership School Framework
STANDARD 6: After-School Programs and Services
STANDARD 7: Comprehensive Wellness Services
STANDARD 8: Parent and Community Involvement
STANDARD 9: Volunteering
STANDARD 10: School Climate
STANDARD 11: Evaluation
STANDARD 12: Sustainability