Lowering the barriers to student success: Community Schools

Why does Paterson have community schools?


A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. In addition to academics, community schools offer health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement that leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone beyond school hours.

Community schools offer children and families an array of supports from community partners right at their school. Communities and schools leverage their shared physical and human assets to help kids succeed. Community schools contain a host of opportunities and supports built-in that give students and parents the tools they need to learn and grow.

Paterson now has 5 full-service community schools:

  • School 5 with NJCDC as the lead partner [started in 2010-11]
  • Dr. Frank Napier/School4 with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Paterson as lead partner [2011-12]
  • New Roberto Clemente School with St. Paul’s CDC as lead partner [2011-12]
  • School 6 with New Destiny Family Success Center as lead partner [new in 2013-14]
  • School 15 with St. Paul’s CDC as lead partner [new in 2013-14]

PEF serves as key partner on the Community School Advisory Board to assure community investment and development.