New Initiative to Transform Schools In Distressed Communities Into Hubs for Children and Family Services Providers

Velmanette Montgomery

August 26, 2013

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the NYS Community Schools initiative, a new statewide program he announced in the 2013 State of the State address that will transform schools in distressed communities into hubs for a wide range of support services for children and their families including health care, counseling, nutrition and job preparation services.

Under NYS Community Schools, approximately 30 schools will be selected in the first round to receive grants of up to $500,000 each over three years. These grants will go toward building strong community partnerships that deliver critical academic, health, extra-curricular and social services primarily in the school building.

The NYS Council on Children and Families, which comprises of the State’s 12 health, education and human services agencies, in coordination with the State Education Department has developed a Program Overview and Grant Implementation Plan to describe how NYS Community Schools will be implemented.

To view the plan, go to:

To view the application, go to:

The State Education Department will accept applications until September 18. Participants will be selected at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Community Schools emphasize family engagement and include strong partnerships with non-profit community-based organizations, local and state government agencies, higher education institutions, and the philanthropic and business communities. Their goal is to align programs and services to meet the needs of students and their families, while avoiding duplication and improving efficiency.

To ensure that existing funds are fully aligned to support the communities selected in the first round of this program, Governor Cuomo is directing all state agencies to prioritize Community Schools and their partners for related health and social service grants and programs.

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said "The New York State Board of Regents has a history of advocating for establishing programs for students and families that provide academic enrichment activities along with a broad array of student and family development opportunities within their communities. We are pleased to be partnering with the Governor to foster Community Schools across the state."