(105 ILCS 5/2-3.152)
(a) This Section applies beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.
(b) The General Assembly finds all of the following:
(1) All children are capable of success.
(2) Schools are the centers of vibrant communities.
(3) Strong families build strong educational
(4) Children succeed when adults work together to
foster positive educational outcomes.
(5) Schools work best when families take active roles
in the education of children.
(6) Schools today are limited in their ability to
dedicate time and resources to provide a wide range of educational opportunities to students because of the focus on standardized test outcomes.
(7) By providing learning opportunities outside of
normal school hours, including programs on life skills and health, students are more successful academically, more engaged in their communities, safer, and better prepared to make a successful transition from school to adulthood.
(8) A community school is a traditional school that
actively partners with its community to leverage existing resources and identify new resources to support the transformation of the school to provide enrichment and additional life skill opportunities for students, parents, and community members at-large. Each community school is unique because its programming is designed by and for the school staff, in partnership with parents, community stakeholders, and students.
(9) Community schools currently exist in this State
in urban, rural, and suburban communities.
(10) Research shows that community schools have a
powerful positive impact on students, as demonstrated by increased academic success, a positive change in attitudes toward school and learning, and decreased behavioral problems.
(11) After-school and evening programs offered by
community schools provide academic enrichment consistent with the Illinois Learning Standards and general school curriculum; an opportunity for physical fitness activities for students, fine arts programs, structured learning "play" time, and other recreational opportunities; a safe haven for students; and work supports for working families.
(12) Community schools are cost-effective because
they leverage existing resources provided by local, State, federal, and private sources and bring programs to the schools, where the students are already congregated. Community schools have been shown to leverage between $5 to $8 in existing programming for every $1 spent on a community school.
(c) Subject to an appropriation or the availability of funding for such purposes, the State Board of Education shall make grants available to fund community schools and to enhance programs at community schools. A request-for-proposal process must be used in awarding grants under this subsection (c). Proposals may be submitted on behalf of a school, a school district, or a consortium of 2 or more schools or school districts. Proposals must be evaluated and scored on the basis of criteria consistent with this Section and other factors developed and adopted by the State Board of Education. Technical assistance in grant writing must be made available to schools, school districts, or consortia of school districts through the State Board of Education directly or through a resource and referral directory established and maintained by the State Board of Education.
(d) In order to qualify for a community school grant under this Section, a school must, at a minimum, have the following components:
(1) Before and after-school programming each school
day to meet the identified needs of students.
(2) Weekend programming.
(3) At least 4 weeks of summer programming.
(4) A local advisory group comprised of school
leadership, parents, and community stakeholders that establishes school-specific programming goals, assesses program needs, and oversees the process of implementing expanded programming.
(5) A program director or resource coordinator who is
responsible for establishing a local advisory group, assessing the needs of students and community members, identifying programs to meet those needs, developing the before and after-school, weekend, and summer programming and overseeing the implementation of programming to ensure high quality, efficiency, and robust participation.
(6) Programming that includes academic excellence
aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards, life skills, healthy minds and bodies, parental support, and community engagement and that promotes staying in school and non-violent behavior and non-violent conflict resolution.
(7) Maintenance of attendance records in all
(8) Maintenance of measurable data showing annual
participation and the impact of programming on the participating children and adults.
(9) Documentation of true collaboration between the
school and community stakeholders, including local governmental units, civic organizations, families, businesses, and social service providers.
(10) A non-discrimination policy ensuring that the
community school does not condition participation upon race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, or disability.
(Source: P.A. 96-746, eff. 8-25-09; 96-1000, eff. 7-2-10.)