A Community School takes one of the largest and most under-utilized public facilities, the public school, and increases the investment by keeping it open evenings, weekends and during the summer for community activities.
Through multi-ministry funding and non-profit partnerships, community schools address the needs of all age groups, with programs for pre-school children, after school care, and adult education and recreation. The expanded mandate of the educational system in recent years has strengthened the potential of community schools in British Columbia.
Community schools provide effective settings to implement early childhood development programs and prevention-based programs for youth and families. Extensive research, much of it from BC studies, shows overwhelming economic and social returns to society that result from investing in prevention and integrating community services.
The Community School provides a vehicle for the participation of community residents, with or without children in the school system, in the activities and efforts of their neighbourhood school.
The Community School encourages school staff to present the elementary and secondary school curriculum using real-life resources and issues from the community.