Community Education is defined as “Schools and Communities working together, utilizing their common resources to promote learning and citizenship building”. The Saskatchewan Association for Community Education (SACE) is dedicated to expanding the number of school-community partnerships and keeping members informed & updated about what is happening as mutually beneficial partnerships develop in communities across the province.
- To promote community education
- To communicate & disseminate information
- To provide in-service
- To provide support for all members
The vehicles used to reach our objectives will be meetings, conferences, social media, regional reps, in-service & planning days, membership listing, and the SACE website.
1980: Eleven schools in the core neighbourhoods of Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert are designated as “Community Schools” by the Department of Education to address the issues of urban Aboriginal poverty. A budget is supplied to these school divisions under a budget line to hire Community School Coordinators, Teacher Associates, as well as establishing a nutrition program, after school and evening programming, support for the parent councils and a discretionary fund for extra costs related to community education programming for these designated schools. The Saskatchewan Community Schools Association (SCSA) was formed to support those involved.
1980 – 1996: The Community Schools program continues to improve and adapt to the needs of each community. Funding remains stable and there is recognition of the important role of community schools in the core neighbourhoods. There is much interest in Saskatchewan community schools from across Canada.
1996: Building Communities of Hope, Community Schools Policy and Conceptual Framework is released.
2001: Role of the Schools Task Force recommends that all Saskatchewan schools adopt the Community Education philosophy. The number of community Schools doubles and expands to include rural, K-12, and secondary schools.
2004: The number of designated community schools expands to 98, representing 12% of Provincial schools in Saskatchewan.
2006: The Ministry established School Community Councils in Legislation for all Saskatchewan schools to provide a province-wide mechanism for parents, community members, school staffs and students to be actively involved in local initiatives that positively impact student learning and success, including school-level learning improvement plans and career development initiatives.
2006 – 2008: Under the process of amalgamation, the number of school divisions are reduced from over 70 to under 30. The Continuous Improvement Framework is introduced. Community Schools move from “Children’s Services Branch” to the First Nations and Metis Branch” of the Ministry of Education. This branch is now known as the First Nations, Metis and Community Education Branch.
2009 – 2010: 4 Pilot Sites are established to begin collecting data on the “Indicators and Outcomes” of community education.
2010 – 2011: The SCSA opens its’ membership to all Saskatchewan Schools as many non-designated schools become interested in the community education model.
2011 – 2012: Due to the dissolution of the FNMCE Branch in 2011, Community Schools move to the “Student Achievement and Supports Branch” of the Ministry of Education This move is cited as a result of the on-going Ministry re-organization. A new funding formula is adopted and the Ministry sends all education budget funds to school divisions to disburse at their discretion (as per
2012 – 2013: Most school divisions retain their community school model, including the retention of the Community School Coordinator position. Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Saskatoon Tribal Council become members of the SCSA.
The SCSA takes over the responsibility for administering the Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee High School Scholarships. This is a partnership with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education. The scholarships are now open to students (meeting the
nomination criteria) in all Saskatchewan High Schools, including all First Nation Schools. (formerly only open to High School students in community schools).
2013 – 2014: (Dec, 2013) of the 134 member schools, 111 have retained the “Community School Coordinator” position, 10 have changed the title to “Outreach Workers”, 1 school has listed the contact person to be the “Nutrition worker” – 12 schools no longer list anyone in the “Community School Coordinator” position. 90% of our member schools have dedicated staff positions with “Coordinator” responsibilities.
2013 October: At a General Membership Meeting, The SCSA members vote to change the name of the Association to “The Saskatchewan Association for Community Education” (SACE). The move was made to reflect the reality that there are students and families in all Saskatchewan Schools that would benefit from the adoption of Community Education Principles and Practices. Guidelines for the implementation of the Community Education Model are made available to member schools at our In-service & Planning days and posted on the www.communityschools.ca website. 2013-14 will be a transition year for the Association as we undertake the work of establishing contact with all Saskatchewan Schools.
2014 – 2015: SACE incorporation process continues – the website address changes to: www.communityeducation.ca
Community Education can be defined as “Schools and Communities working together, utilizing their common resources to promote learning and citizenship building.”
Community Education promotes the creation of a learning environment that provides learning opportunities for all members of the community. There are “9 basic Principles” that can be implemented by community groups, organizations and/or schools. The natural outcome of following these Principles is citizenship building & community development.
Community Education Principles *
- Self Determination -local people are in the best possible position to determine what they need and want and should be empowered to make decisions that affect them, their families & communities.
- Localization – services, programs, events and other community involvement opportunities that are brought closest to where people live have the greatest potential for high levels of public participation. To the degree possible, such activities should be decentralized to locations
of easy public access.
- Self Help – people are best served when they have the capacity to serve themselves. People should be encouraged to assume ever-increasing responsibility for their own well-being, thereby building independence and interdependence rather than dependence.
- Integrated Service Delivery – organizations and agencies that operate for the public good can better utilize their limited resources, meet their own goals and better serve the public through the proactive involvement of their respective constituencies as well as through active, cooperative
and collaborative relationships with those other organizations and agencies with related purposes.
- Maximum Use of Resources – the physical, financial and human resources of every community must be interconnected and utilized to the fullest if the diverse needs and interests of communities are to be met.
- Inclusiveness – the segregation of people by virtue of age, income, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or other factors inhibits the full development of the community. Thus, community programs, activities and services should involve the broadest possible cross section of community residents.
- Institutional Responsiveness – public institutions have been created to serve people and they have a responsibility to develop their respective programs and services around the continually changing needs and interests of the people they serve as defined in consultation and collaboration with those they serve.
- Lifelong Learning – people learn from birth to death and both formal and informal learning opportunities should be provided for people throughout their lives in a wide variety of community settings.
- Leadership Development – the identification, development and utilization of the leadership capacities of local citizens is a prerequisite to the full development and empowerment of any community. Thus, all community education efforts should incorporate a leadership development strategy.
* Horyma, Larry for CACE/93
What does Community Education look like in a School?
Schools that follow community education principles and practices in delivery of their educational mandate are called Community Schools, Hub Schools, Health Promoting Schools, Magnet Schools, Integrated Service Delivery Schools, etc. These schools are characterized by the delivery of core elements that ensure the best educational outcomes for students and lifelong learning opportunities for parents and community members.
The 12-core elements of a Community Education Program in a school are as follows:
- Relevant, culturally affirming, community related curriculum
- After school and evening programming (academic, recreational, social)
- Community use of the school (school is the centre of the neighbourhood/community)
- Nutrition resources & healthy lifestyle programming
- Community partnerships
- Interagency collaboration
- Leadership development at all levels
- Parental engagement
- Effective, active School Community Council with representative membership
- Safe, respectful, welcoming environment
- Pro-active prevention and early learning programs
- Designated coordination of community education programming by a qualified practitioner, in partnership with a school based leadership team