The U.S. Department of Education recently released a Notice Inviting Applications for the fiscal year 2023 Full-Service Community Schools grant program that supports academic acceleration and provides academic and whole child supports to build and strengthen connections between schools, parents, families and their surrounding communities. This program drives community-based resources to support student’s academic advancement and mental health, among other needs.

Meeting the needs and building on the assets of the whole child is essential to help America’s students grow academically and improve their well-being. Community schools meet the unique needs of the neighborhoods they serve by leveraging local assets, intentionally collaborating with nonprofit, private sector and agency partnerships to bring services into school buildings. The fiscal year 2023 FSCS competition will award $73.8 million to support an estimated 45 grants across the country to coordinate services such as high-quality tutoring, health, mental health and nutrition services and high-quality out-of-school time and early learning programs, among others, for students and the community.

“Full-service community schools embrace the role that schools play as the trusted center of our communities, and build on that role by offering students and families access to wraparound supports and services, from tutoring and mental health counseling to nutrition assistance, violence prevention and more,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’ve visited community schools across the country and seen firsthand how they break down silos among education, health care, nonprofits and government agencies to meet the needs of the whole child and lift up entire families and neighborhoods.”

This year’s competition maintains an emphasis on quality implementation through the four pillars of community schools: integrated student supports; expanded and enriched learning time; active family and community engagement; and collaborative leadership and practices – and seeks to expand the evidence base through a national evaluation that will study the implementation of the fiscal year 2023 FSCS grants that are awarded. Additionally, the notice includes an invitational priority to support effective transitions between early childhood education and elementary school settings.

The 2023 competition also builds on several efforts from the Biden administration and the USDOE to support local, district and state efforts to scale community schools. For example, the administration released a Community School Toolkit in January showcasing how federal funding sources may be used to support community schools.

For more information on the Full-Service Community Schools Grant program visit Full-Service Community Schools Program – Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

You can also learn more in the full news release.