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Community Schools in Russia 2011-2013

Support of the strategic goals of the Krasnoyarsk Center for Community Partnerships regarding the development of Community Schools in Russia

Financing: Mott Foundation
Duration of activities: 3 years (January, 1 2011 through December, 31 2013)

Location: Russian Federation

Strategic goals for the next three years (2011 – 2013)

Goal 1. Develop a learning environment that fosters community schools empowerment.

This goal advocates the promotion of learning as a continuous process. It recognizes that there are community schools of different level: schools that have achieved a lot; schools that have only started making first steps; schools that only start to think about possible directions of development. All in all, this goal ensures that all these schools have information, advice, guidance and materials timely and of good quality.

We will focus on the following activities:

  • trainings/seminars

  • methodical support

  • tutoring

Trainings/seminars

KCCP will continue providing trainings/seminars:

  • for both the beginners (schools that want to adopt the CS model) on CS dissemination and the advanced (schools that have already adopted the CS model) on deepening the understanding of the CS model;

  • for various groups in schools and communities (teachers, pupils, parents, community members, administrative teams), from our experience we see that the best way is to train people in mixed groups (teachers – pupils, parents – teachers, teachers – community members) as it helps better understanding of each other. At the same time we guess the largest group will be teachers as they are usually the change makers in community schools. Well-qualified teachers who are enabled and empowered to create innovative and exciting curricula are key to the successful education and learning of different age groups of community. We will support teachers by providing them with continuing professional development opportunities that give them the knowledge and know-how to become the best teachers they can. We will help them fulfil their personal career aspirations and make a positive and proactive contribution to the successful running of their school and on the lives of young people they teach, parents and community members they involve in activities.

  • for a school or a group of schools;

Our trainings consist of various CS related topics: community education and its basic components and principles, goals of community schools, benefits of community education, how to get started, common components of CS programs, self-assessment of community schools, communication trainings, constructive conflict solution, public speeches/presentations, planning and organizing public events, etc. The approach adopted will be different for every case/school/community/ as each place needs to devise its own community school planning strategy to suit local conditions and needs. But there are principles, methods and scenarios which appear to be relevant. They are based on previous projects and experience and will form the meat of the training program.

During our trainings we will work on:

  • Providing support to ensure the impact and extent of work in school Improvement Plans, etc and that support is given to ensure an understanding of how new programme contributes to other local, national and regional targets.

  • Highlighting ways in which schools and clusters can work more effectively and build on links with their local voluntary and community sector. To provide evidence how to develop sustainable partnerships.

  • Providing remote and local support to school based staff of all levels to increase their understanding of becoming a community school and its wider benefits.

  • Ongoing awareness-raising of the resources available.

Training component is in great demand among community schools as it helps them build their capacity as developing educational establishments. That is why training component makes a core of KCCP activities.

Methodical support

For their continuing development community schools also need to master new methods of work and KCCP will provide them with methodical support. Our experience shows that KCCP staff efforts together with expert teams of CS practitioners can offer various methodical advice, techniques and consulting.

KCCP will provide community schools with the following:

  • new programs with methodical manuals on three components of the CS model (volunteering, democratization, partnership) developed by expert groups. The possible topics based on preliminary analysis are: change management, prevention of delinquencies among young people, service provision based on community mapping. This list reflects our vision of the current needs of schools and we will continue to analyze school demands to respond to their needs.

  • quarterly newsletter with acute information, legal issues, success stories;

  • expert teams to work on various issues,

  • dissemination of new information via CS internet web-sites, KCCP web-page, networking events.

Tutoring

Each community school differs from others. Some schools may offer wonderful examples to others. Others (especially beginners) need these examples and individual support so KCCP will promote the tutoring system in community school movement:

  • model schools that can tutor others;

  • expert consulting via e-mail, phone and site-visits to help community schools develop.

 

Goal 2. Encourage networking among CS resource centers and community schools.

This goal encourages development of partnership, friendly, professional and other relations between community schools resource centers and community schools all over Russia and abroad. Seeking the communication with other schools and resource centers in other regions can help schools find new ideas, better solutions, possible programmes and activities, etc.

Network events

KCCP will intensify the coordination and support of the network events which are planned for each year. Annually 5 events are organized and this year during one of the meetings the Coordination Committee will discuss and replace some events with new ones to make the participation more interesting for schools. Among the current network events are: International Community School Day, Volunteer action “Spring Week of Kindness”, action “Give joy to kids”, action “One Day in Community School”, campaign “Join us”.

CS resource centers share the responsibility for disseminating and gathering information. For each network event KCCP together with the Coordination Committee will prepare methodical recommendations and disseminate them among community schools. All network events will be widely covered on the CS movement Internet-site administrated by KCCP.

KCCP together with the Coordination Committee will continue strengthening the existing and designing new network events as they promote the community school movement at different levels.

 

CS movement Internet-site http://www.cs-network.ru

The Russian Community Schools Internet-sitewas launched in 2006 and we focused on three objectives: to maintain the technical characteristics and increase content of the web-site, to support networking opportunities on the web-site, to expand web-site traffic.

Working on the site, we sincerely hope that our joint efforts will help support the community of like-minded people and the community school movement in the collaboration to develop community education in Russia and in the world.

All-Russian Forums of community schools

Forums will be organized and held by KCCP annually for activists and experts of community schools, education department officials and NGOs members for them to meet like-minded people from various regions, share their ideas and views. The topic of each Forum will be carefully chosen to focus on the most important vital issues of community school development. The selection of participants will be according to their applications and list of criteria in order to give opportunities to attend for both advanced and beginners. The program will be designed to present best practice and deliver key messages and might consist of plenary sessions, workshops, discussion groups.

 

Various interregional events

As regions of Russia differs in local conditions the community schools often have their unique practice and schools from other regions are interested in seeing this practice so interregional events present a wonderful chances for experience sharing ans networking. CS resource centers will organize events in their regions and invite community schools and colleagues from the neighbourghood. KCCP will promote the information about the events via the CS Internet-site and direct mailing to community schools to let them know about the events in advance. We believe these events also promote partnerships and interaction between CS resource centers.

Study visits

We plan to develop and introduce a system of study visits (among schools and CS resource centers). There is a demand from schools for this activity, some schools from nearby regions have already started doing it. Study visits can be organized for teachers and students, in some cases can be used as a reward for excellent performance.

Joint projects

Joint projects with other resource centers will promote further cooperation and allow dissemination of positive experience in various regions. It is planned to apply for grants from a small coalitions (2-3 resource centers).

 

International work

For 4 years KCCP has been effectively working with partners from various countries in joint projects. This work allows presenting experience of Russian community schools on international level and bringing best foreign practices into Russia. We will put efforts to contribute to international work to develop and improve CS practice.

Goal 3. Promote institutional and capacity building of KCCP

This goal highlights the necessity of constant development of KCCP as an organization: enhancing management efficiency, designing optimal organizational and functional structure and management system, developing quality management system, marketing, etc. All this ensures that community schools and other interested parties get high-quality services.

Taking into account our previous experience and understanding the needs KCCP will be working with community school practitioners (the so-called “internal” audience) to provide them with trainings/interregional events, new ideas, programmes, methodical support and advice. And we will also widen the links with interested parties and stakeholders including education departments and Teachers’ Re-training Institutes (the so-called “external” audience) to show them the achievements/tools/opportunities that can be offered by CS movement for implementing development programmes.

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