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Engaged Families & Communities

Public schools are the cornerstones of our communities—and our communities make great public schools happen.

Parents, grandparents, caregivers, friends, neighborhood advocates: we all have a role to play in supporting student learning in the classroom and beyond. Learning happens at home, in school, and everywhere in between. Here’s how you can help our children, wherever you are.

Louisiana Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (LAROS)

The Louisiana Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (LAROS) is an alliance of parents, students, and community and labor organizations fighting to reclaim the promise of public education as Louisiana’s gateway to a strong democracy. LAROS believes that the best way to ensure each and every child has the opportunity to pursue a rich and productive life is through a system of publicly funded, equitable, and democratically controlled public schools. LAROS aims to unite parents, students, educators, and community members to drive the transformation of public education, shift the public debate, and build a statewide movement for equity and opportunity for all.

An ongoing focus of LAROS is restoring a true investment in public education through community schools, which aim to foster a collaborative partnership between the public schools in a neighborhood and the people/services of the community.

Community School: A center of the community – open all day, every day, to everyone – that brings together academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement under one roof, leading to improved learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

A Community School is a set of partnerships that brings about a place of learning to help students overcome the barriers that cause them to lose focus and hope. What sets these schools apart is their emphasis on caring for and uplifting all of a child’s various needs (academic, health, nutritional, psychological, etc. ) The schools are able to do this through the collaboration of several partners and volunteers, from pediatricians and dentists to mentors, and it is all provided on the school campus. By providing these comprehensive services, Community Schools strengthen students, support parents and build up neighborhoods.

Community Schools recognize that students cannot focus inside the classroom if their basic needs are not being met outside the classroom. Students who are hungry, sick, anxious, or troubled may be too overwhelmed to learn. At the more than 5,000 Community Schools across the nation, their troubles are acknowledged and addressed.

The Community School concept has been embraced by single school, entire school districts, cities, and counties; and, in one case, an entire state (Kentucky). The result has been deeper engagement and greater overall academic success.

Community Schools lead to:

  • lower rates of absenteeism;
  • better work habits, grades, test scores, and behavior;
  • higher enrollment in college preparatory classes; and
  • higher graduation rates.

These schools are often based on the Sustainable Community Schools (SCS) model, which considers the needs of the students and the families in the neighborhood; services that are currently provided at the school; the availability and capabilities of local provider agencies; and the willingness of school personnel to change course and accept a new way of operating.

For more information on Louisiana Community School Resources, contact Lynda Guidry at lguidry@lae.org.

Together Louisiana

Together Louisiana is a statewide network of more than 250 religious congregations and civic organizations across Louisiana, representing more than 200,000 people. It is one of the largest grassroots organizations in the history of Louisiana.

The mission of Together Louisiana is to give faith and community-based organizations an opportunity to develop the leadership capacity of their members and affect change on a larger scale than they could alone.

Together Louisiana currently is working on issues that include tax fairness, access to healthcare, flood recovery, access to healthy food, workforce development, criminal justice reform and improving infrastructure and transportation.

Learn more about Together Louisiana.

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Louisiana Association of Educators

LAE’s mission is to organize and empower educators to promote quality public schools, strengthen the profession, and improve the well-being of public school children across Louisiana.