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UCF Center for Community Schools

The UCF Center for Community Schools is located at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. The center is responsible for administering the state’s Community School Grant Program and for overseeing the Community Partnership School™ model of community school. This partnership-driven model features collaborative governance among four or more core partners, which must include a school district, a nonprofit, a healthcare provider, and a university or college. The center currently oversees the development of 26 Community Partnership School sites and a university-based process to certify each school’s required adherence to the model.

Research and Evaluation

The UCF Center for Community Schools is a practice-based center focused on using standards to drive best practices in the field. This standards-based approach includes components of the pillars for community school success and the Community Partnership Schools™ model. The center provides 26 sites statewide with technical assistance to improve student outcomes. Moving forward the center is working to establish a comprehensive statewide database to identify key performance indicators, which will strengthen the impact of Community Partnership Schools on students, families, and communities.

Partnership Highlights

The Orange County Public Schools Academic Center for Excellence (OCPS ACE) opened in 2017 as the first facility constructed as a Community Partnership School. OCPS ACE serves preschool through eighth-grade students from low-income neighborhoods in Orlando. The school has tremendous partnership support. In addition to the required four core partners — in this case, school district OCPS, nonprofit Children’s Home Society of Florida, healthcare provider Orange Blossom Family Health and UCF, the school has three other core partners — Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Rosen Preschool and Valencia College. OCPS ACE became a UCF-Certified Community Partnership School in 2019.

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