Full-Service Community Schools Grant Evaluation for Chicago Public Schools

Child painting outside

Through Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS), students, their families, and the local community can receive academic, social, and health services, which can contribute to better educational outcomes for students. As part of the FY 2020 FSCS competition, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) received a Full-Service Community Schools Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As part of the work that this grant supports, the school district is implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to meet the social and emotional needs of students at a series of high schools, supporting the adoption of restorative justice practices, providing enhanced social and emotional supports to students, and working to enhance parent engagement and participation in out-of-school time activities.

In 2022, CPS received a new 5-year FSCS grant to support implementation of the full-service strategy in three additional CPS schools. With this new grant, CPS plans to expand FSCS-supported services and activities, utilizing restorative justice and case management supports to meet the needs of youth appearing on the student prioritization index (used to identify students in need of more individualized support, especially those students in need of a 1:1 intervention).

AIR's Implementation and Effectiveness Evaluations

For each of the FSCS grants, AIR is conducting both an implementation and effectiveness evaluation of how services are being coordinated within schools to serve students and families more holistically and how students may have benefitted from their participation in CSI-related programming and services. As part of the evaluation, AIR worked with Chicago Public Schools to develop and refine a series of key performance indicators to monitor the progress being made in implementing the strategy and improvements in student outcomes.

Efforts to assess implementation will include interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, student surveys, and analyses of service and activity participation data.

Through the effectiveness study, AIR assessed how youth grow and develop over time as they participate in Community Schools Initiative-related services and activities, compared with students attending schools that lack access to this unique set of supports. AIR will use a quasi-experimental design to assess FSCS effectiveness using propensity score matching to identify a set of 8 to 10 comparison schools for each grant and assess differences in outcomes between years 2 and 4 of grant implementation.