Founded in 2012 by the United Federation of Teachers, United Community Schools (UCS) operates the largest community school network in New York City. Having started with just six schools, we have grown to a network of 31 schools that touches more than 20,000 students in all five boroughs of New York City and beyond.
The community school model is predicated on the notion that students cannot reach their full potential in the classroom if their stomachs are empty, they cannot see the board, they cannot hear the teacher, or they are pre-occupied by problems outside the classroom. Rather than throwing their hands up at these challenges, community schools actively work to improve student achievement by addressing the educational, emotional, social and health issues that can stand in the way of learning. Community 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 well beyond traditional school hours, a welcoming place where problems are solved and barriers to learning are eliminated so that teachers can do what they do best: teach.