RFA was selected as the external evaluator for Philadelphia’s Community Schools initiative, a hallmark of Mayor Jim Kenney’s education agenda. The initiative provides a comprehensive set of social services and supports for schoolchildren and communities. Each community school has a full-time coordinator responsible for a wide range of duties focused on sustained community involvement, coordination of services, and collaboration with school principals and staff.
In the first year, RFA’s evaluation assessed whether system-wide conditions and supports for the initiative were in place, and examined how the initiative was playing out on the ground by closely examining implementation and early outcomes at the school level. RFA evaluated the initiative against a suite of best practices developed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Education (MOE) and grounded in rigorous research on community schools.