Skip to main content

North Dakota Full-Service Community Schools serve as a place and a set of collaborative partnerships that embrace a whole-child, whole-family approach to student success

Learn More

We know that, for a variety of reasons, not all students come to school ready to learn each day due to various barriers they experience. These barriers might include, but are not limited to: hunger, housing or transportation challenges, lack of early childhood experiences that support learning, behavioral health conditions, physical health disparities (dental, vision, etc.).

Furthermore, school resources - specifically, finite resources like time, money, staffing, and energy - are typically stretched thin, building those existing barriers even higher for students to succeed.

Whether we like it or not, in order to learn and be successful, those very fundamental needs of students and families must be met, and school leaders and educators can’t – and shouldn’t be expected to – do it alone. It actually does take a village to prepare students to be successful in life beyond the walls of K-12 schools.

In 2018, Nexus-PATH Family Healing, a non-profit organzation that provides community-based services to youth and families, in collaboration with two ND Regional Education Associations (REAs), the Central Regional Education Assocation and the South East Education Association, applied for and received a five year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build, develop, sustain, and scale a North Dakota model of Full-Service Community Schools.

What We Do

We partner with local leaders to coordinate comprehensive supports in areas such as wellness, workforce readiness, and academic enrichment to help students, families, and communities thrive.

How We Do It

4 Cornerstones

The NDFSCS Consortium has adopted the Partnership fro the Future of Learning's 'Community Schools Playbook Keys to Success' and have adapted these "Keys for Success" as the cornerstones necessary to guide NDFSCS School Sites through the implementation process.

The NDFSCS Site Coordinator is a staff member of the school or partnering entity dedicated to extending the capacity of the school by assisting students and families in overcoming barriers to learning. Site Coordinators “create, strengthen, and maintain the bridge between the school community by facilitating and providing leadership for the collaborative process and development of a continuum of services for children, families, and community members within a school neighborhood.” **Coalition for Community Schools
The NDFSCS School-Site Implementation Team assesses student and family needs, plans, makes decisions related to creating and maintaining partnerships with community organizations to implement evidence-based programs and services to support identified student and family needs, and evaluates the effectiveness of programs and services.
The NDFSCS model aligns its work to pipelines of supports known to improve student, family, and community outcomes. These integrated supports require trusted relationships and are provided through a network of partnerships. NDFSCS Pipeline Service Partners are entities that assist with programming or capacity building, whereas NDFSCS Pipeline Service Providers deliver direct services to students and families (state-wide, regionally, and/or locally). Both pipeline service partners and providers serve as extensions of the School Site, increasing the School Site’s capacity to serve students and their families.
The journey to scale and sustain pipeline services and the NDFSCS model requires an intentional commitment to continuous improvement through a fluid, non-linear process. Components of this process include assessing needs, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Why We Do It

Students cannot learn when their basic needs are not met. Not all schools have the resources to meet all needs. NDFSCS supports schools and community partners in navigating these challenges together.

Who We Are

We are a Consortium representing a variety of ND schools and organizations who are passionate about helping ND students and families succeed.

Advisories have been established to inform the work of the Consortium. First, an Ecosystem Advisory comprised of representatives from various state entities including the Department of Public Instruction, Department of Health and Human Services, Career and Technical Education, and Association of Counties, among others, meets on a quarterly basis to provide input regarding development, adaptation, and expansion of the NDFSCS model to enhance statewide system coordination and communication. Members are encouraged to share updates related to their portfolios during these meetings, as well as to share out NDFSCS happenings within their respective portfolios.
Pipeline Service Partners and Providers Network meets quarterly to establish and enhance effective partnerships between service entities and School-Sites for the purpose of mutually desired results. It is the goal of all entities to both improve student learning and support stronger family units, resulting in vibrant communities. The NDFSCS Pipeline Service Director solicits state-wide and regional providers and vets evidence-based services aligned with NDFSCS Pipelines, convening and facilitating the Pipeline Service Partners and Providers Network.
School-Site Implementation Teams locally operationalize the 4 pillars of Community Schools (Partnership for the Future of Learning, 2018), develop, and execute work plans, including, but not limited to: assessing needs, planning, implementing, and evaluating service provision. School-Site Implementation Teams, led by the School Site Coordinator, work to execute, at a micro level, the designed processes and procedures of the school and the NDFSCS Consortium. The work of the School Site Coordinator includes the regular convening and solicitation of school staff and/or partners for collaborative conversations to make strategic decisions regarding resource allocation. The NDFSCS Pipeline Services Director serves in a supervisory capacity, providing support to School Site Coordinators through monthly NDFSCS Site Coordinator Network meetings and one-on-one progress meetings.
NDFSCS Implementation Team, composed of the Project Director, School Engagement Director, Pipeline Services Director, and Trauma-Informed Community-based Services Consultant operationalize the 4 pillars of Community Schools (Partnership for the Future of Learning, 2018) at the initiative level. The team ensures that successes are shared, perceived barriers are problem solved collaboratively, the work plan is executed (including, but not limited to: assessing needs, planning, implementing, and evaluating statewide service provision), and that gaps in resources and service provision at a state level are identified and addressed.
NDFSCS Oversight Team creates the conditions for shared leadership, high-quality collaboration, and service provision within the NDFSCS Consortium by appropriating resources, ensuring internal controls, assuring alignment with the PK-12 education statewide strategic vision, and making strategic decisions related to partner engagement that emphasize existing community-based organizations and programs to maximize benefit and leverage, as well as to redirect and/or align resources to avoid duplication.