Assessment and Evaluation
Quality implementation is critical to the progress of any community school, and on-going progress monitoring is essential to growth. UCF Center for Community Schools provides community school assessment and evaluations. Included in the process is a self-assessment by the community school leadership team, on-site observations and interviews of stakeholders performed by UCF Center for Community School staff, a presentation of observations including strengths and opportunities for growth, and a final report with specifics regarding the findings.
By taking a continuous improvement approach community schools ensure impact is not watered down by ineffective practices and underperforming interventions. The knowledge gained by engaging in a process for self-assessment and outside perspective can save time by focusing efforts on needle-moving improvement practices. Additionally, assessment and evaluation can be used to engage local policy makers, school district leadership, nonprofit agencies and other stakeholders in understanding the value of community schools.
Community school initiatives interested in more information about continuous improvement measures facilitated by the Center for Community Schools can contact Amy Ellis.
UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools
With growing interest in replicating Community Partnership School™ efforts beyond Central Florida, it became important to establish the essential components of this multiple-core-partner community school model. To ensure consistency of quality programming as well as strategy and framework fidelity, UCF’s Center for Community Schools, along with partners across the state, developed a process to certify Community Partnership Schools that demonstrate alignment with core components as defined in the UCF-Certification Community Partnership Schools™ Standards.
The UCF-Certification process involves the completion of an internal self-review by the Community Partnership School and an external review conducted by reviewers from the Center for Community Schools. Community Partnership Schools who demonstrate alignment with core components and have reached implementation benchmarks defined by UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools™ Standards may be found eligible for status as a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School.
Integrated Community Partnership School Framework
Expanded Learning Time and Opportunities
Comprehensive Wellness Supports
Family and Community Engagement
Before beginning the certification process, community schools must register to join the UCF-Certified Community Partnership School planning track. Once a community school has registered for the UCF-certification planning track and/or has been found eligible for certification, the school is qualified to submit for any available planning or implementation grants. Registered schools located within the state of Florida may qualify for financial support from funds provided by the Florida Legislature.
Becoming a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School is a distinguished honor that represents years of intentional, dedicated work to building a model framework and aligning necessary resources aimed to ensure student success and wellbeing.
We send our sincerest congratulations to the partners, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders of the following UCF-Certified Community Partnership Schools:
Evans High School
Core Partners: Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Blossom Family Health, Orange County Public Schools, University of Central Florida
C.A. Weis Elementary School
Core Partners: Children’s Home Society of Florida, Community Health of Northwest Florida, Escambia County School District, Northwest Florida Community Health, University of West Florida
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.
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.”
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 Center for Community Schools completes steps 6-7.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.