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Binghamton University Community Schools

Housed within Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs, Binghamton University Community Schools began their university-assisted community school model in 2014 supporting 4 school districts; we have expanded our work to include 10 districts within Broome County, NY.  In partnership with our Regional Network, the Center for Civic Engagement facilitates linkages of college students and faculty research to the identified needs and gaps in our partner schools. Our Regional Network also brings Community School Coordinators together weekly to facilitate professional development, community connections with community-based partners, and county-wide collaboration opportunities.

In addition, Binghamton University Community Schools has launched an Online Community Schools Certificate Program in partnership with Children’s Aid National Center for Community Schools designed for school professionals from across disciplines, community-based service providers, or anyone seeking a role that makes meaningful, measurable improvements in lives and communities.  We have also been designated a New York State Central/Western Community School Technical Assistance Center supporting schools within the central/western areas of New York State with the exploration and expansion of their community school work.  Dedicated to educational equity and social justice, Binghamton University Community Schools continues to search for ways to expand and enhance access to the community school strategies, tools, and concepts.

Research and Evaluation

From 2014 – 2019 our evaluation focused on individual student data reviewing school attendance, discipline referrals, and academic achievement. Our data indicates elementary students connected to a college student mentor improves school attendance.  We are using this data to develop a Success Mentor attendance pilot program. In 2020 we will begin to measure the implementation and effectiveness of the Regional Network for continuous improvement.  Anecdotally we have learned that the Regional Network strengthens and expands the university-assisted community school model with one retired superintendent stating, “Without Binghamton University and the Regional Network, we wouldn’t have community schools in our area!”

Partnership Highlights

The partnership between Binghamton University Community Schools and the Center for Civic Engagement provides reciprocal benefits to our school communities and our university. In one rural school, Windsor Central School District, a transportation barrier has been addressed by initiating a pen pal program with seven sororities in the Panhellenic Council. Each year approximately 215 women exchange over 2000 letters with students in the 3rd-grade developing mentoring relationships while promoting writing and conversation.   At the end of the year, Windsor students visit our campus to meet their Pen Pal and learn more about Binghamton University.

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