United Community Schools

United For Better

New York, NY   |  https://unitedcommunityschools.org/

Mission

To improve student achievement by meeting the health, safety and social service needs of students, parents and communities. To achieve the goals, the organization facilitates partnerships between public schools, nonprofits, local businesses, and government agencies which connect vital services to public school buildings, making each school the hub of its community.

Ruling year info

2014

Associate Executive Director

Ms. Christine Schuch

Main address

50 Broadway 15th Floor

New York, NY 10004 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

New York City Community Learning Schools Initiative

EIN

46-1227433

NTEE code info

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (B19)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Founded in 2012 by the United Federation of Teachers, the United Community Schools (UCS) strategy is predicated on the notion that students are not in the best position to reach their full potential in the classroom and beyond if their stomachs are empty, they cannot see the board, they cannot hear the teacher, or they are preoccupied by problems outside the classroom. UCS schools actively work to improve student achievement by addressing the educational, emotional, social, and health issues that can stand in the way of learning. UCS schools connect the entire school, including students, teachers, principals and counselors, to the entire community – parents and other caregivers, non-profits, local businesses and government agencies. By mobilizing these diverse elements, the school becomes a community hub often open well beyond traditional school hours, a welcoming place where problems are solved and barriers to learning are eliminated.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

United Community Schools

By engaging with community partners, United Community Schools (UCS) has been able to document improvements in student academic achievement, improved relationships between teachers and students, and an increase in student support services. Serving as a hub for each community, UCS connects vital services to schools, and most importantly focuses on reaching the “whole” child.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

United Community Schools aims to help every student reach their full potential in the classroom and in life. Specifically, we partnering with educators, school leaders, families, community members, and community organizations to…

(1) Help enhance student academic growth by identifying the unique obstacles to student learning and then working to bring in the programs and services necessary to overcome those obstacles.

(2) Improve student well-being by supporting student physical and mental health

(3) Ensure student preparedness for life after school.

To realize our vision and achieve our goals we do the following:

(1) Recruit, train, and place highly-qualified full-time Community School Directors (CSDs) in each of our schools. These CSDs assemble and facilitate an Advisory Board consisting of educators, school leaders, families, community members, and key community based organizations that determine the work plan for the community school strategy and oversee the work of the CSD. Together they conduct a needs assessment to identify both the assets of the community and the unique challenges faced by students which can be barriers to learning.

(2) Provide ongoing support to the CSD as they do whatever is required to bring in the programs and services necessary to overcome barriers to learning and provide meaningful enrichment to students.

(3) Place full-time clinical social workers at a portion of our schools to provide therapeutic counseling to at-risk students and their families.

Established by the United Federation of Teachers in 2012, we know teachers, we know schools, we know education, and we know how to put it all together to work effectively for the benefit of students and their families.

Our experience managing a network of 32 schools spanning all five boroughs of New York City – the single largest network of community schools in New York City – and one additional school in the City School District of Albany has endowed us with the capacity to recruit, train, place, and support top-notch Community School Directors (CSDs) and Social Workers (SWs) for each of our school sites. Our team, from leadership to those based in schools, is highly diverse and reflects the diversity of those we serve.

Based on our experience and expertise in the field of education, we have developed a unique community school model which includes a focus on educator support in addition to the conventional student and family supports typical of the community school approach.

Among the first cohort of UCS schools, we saw a 27 point decrease in the percentage of students reading at the lowest level between 2012 and 2017, more than twice the improvement seen citywide.

While the schools in our network are all at different phases of implementing the UCS community school strategy, broadly speaking, incidents are down, while attendance, parental involvement, test scores, and graduation rates have improved, often outpacing the city average and/or other comparable schools.

For the immediate future, we are putting even greater emphasis on academic and enrichment programming as well as mental health services.

Financials

United Community Schools
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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United Community Schools

Board of directors
as of 4/20/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Karen Alford

VP for Elementary Schools, UFT

Term: 2020 - 2021

Merrill Pond

Partnership for New York City

Kimberly Williams

Vibrant Emotional Health

Karen Alford

United Federation of Teachers

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No