Quality implementation is critical to the progress of any community school, and ongoing progress monitoring is essential to growth.

The UCF Center for Community Schools provides assessment and evaluation services for all types of community schools. The services help ensure continuous improvement at community schools and help prevent ineffective practices and underperforming interventions.

The center’s community school experts:

  • facilitate a self-assessment by the community school leadership team
  • conduct on-site observations and interviews of stakeholders
  • identify and present on strengths and opportunities for growth
  • provide a final report on its findings

Self-assessment and an outside perspective help community schools save time by enabling them to quickly focus on improvements that will move the needle.

Assessment and evaluation also can be used to engage local policy makers, school district leadership, nonprofit agencies and other stakeholders in understanding the value of community schools.

To learn more about assessment and evaluation services offered by the center, please contact center Director Amy Ellis.

Community Partnership Schools

UCF Certification

The UCF Center for Community Schools, with help from partners across the state of Florida, developed a rigorous, strengths-based certification process to ensure that the standards of the Community Partnership Schools™ model are consistently implemented and maintained across all Community Partnership Schools.

To achieve certification, a Community Partnership School must demonstrate that the school aligns with the model’s core components and has reached the implementation benchmarks defined by UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools™ Standards (below). A school that achieves certification is known as a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School.

Earning the title of UCF-Certified Community Partnership School is a distinct honor that represents years of work focused on student success and well-being.

The Community Partnership Schools certification process includes the following assessments and reviews:

  • Certification Readiness Assessment during year three of implementation of the model
  • Certification Assessment during year five of implementation of the model
  • Certification Affirmation Review three years after certification
  • Re-Certification Assessment five years after certification

UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools™ Standards




Collaborative Leadership, Governance, and Organizational


Foundational Principles




Integrated Community Partnership School Framework


Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities


Comprehensive Wellness Supports


Family and Community Engagement




University Assistance





UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools

The UCF Center for Community Schools extends its sincere congratulations to the partners, administrators, faculty, staff, students and stakeholders of the following UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools:

Evans High School
Orlando, FL

C.A. Weis Elementary School
Pensacola, FL

Endeavour Elementary School
Cocoa, FL

Gulfside Elementary School
Holiday, FL

OCPS Academic Center for Excellence
Orlando, FL

South Woods Elementary School
St. Augustine, FL

Edward H. White High School
Jacksonville, FL

Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School
Tampa, FL

The Webster School
St. Augustine, FL

Mort Elementary
Tampa, FL

Wilkinson Junior High (7–8)
Middleburg, FL

Sabal Palm Elementary
Tallahassee, FL

Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High
Keystone Heights, FL

Crystal Lake Elementary School
Lakeland, FL

Howard Bishop Middle
Gainesville, FL

Miami Southridge
Miami, FL

Arthur and Polly Mays
Miami, FL

Homestead Middle
Homestead, FL

As a Community Partnership School Director, I was very grateful to have clear guidance and technical support from UCF Center for Community Schools for our certification process from our initial planning phase to readiness assessment, the site visit and ultimately the final report. The final report was very comprehensive and gave us practical feedback with specific suggestions on how we can improve our implementation.

John Sherman, former Community Partnership Schools Director, C.A. Weis Elementary School; now Regional Director, Community Partnership Schools North Region, Children's Home Society of Florida

As an operational leader in the field of Community Partnership Schools, the certification process has served as a roadmap to ensure the optimal effectiveness of the good we do each day to empower youth and families.”

Jarvis Wheeler, Senior Director for Community Partnership School Strategies, Children’s Home Society of Florida

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, expanded learning coordinator, wellness supports coordinator, family and community engagement 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 UCF 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 UCF 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 UCF 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 for completion of the certification materials and for an external review will be established.
  3. Complete Internal Self-Review. The certification packet includes the Internal Self-Review, a diagnostic tool which should be completed collaboratively by Community Partnership School core partners. Indicators within each standard should be reviewed and rated by performance levels of Not Using, Developing, Satisfactory or Excelling. Each standard also should 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 packet of certification materials. All core partners, key parents, community members, students and staff should complete a survey. These surveys should be collected and given to the center for external review.


  1. Complete external review. Reviewers from the UCF Center for Community Schools and at least one peer reviewer will appraise your school using the same diagnostic tool used for the Internal Self-Review.
  2. Complete external review. External reviewers also will gather information through stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and they will review the Internal Self-Review, surveys and evidence.
  3. Determine certification status. To become a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School, schools must score at least 50% in each standard. Within six weeks of completion of the external review, the UCF Center for Community Schools will determine certification status. Schools that do not reach certification status will receive on-going support and may apply for certification once a year until certification status is reached. Schools that reach certification status must re-certify every five years (previously three years) to keep their certification status.