Communities In Schools: A Newfoundland School and Community Outreach in Need of Stability

  • Barbara Barter


Communities In Schools (CIS) was introduced to Cormack Trail School District in 1991. Using a whole-school philosophy it offers non-targeted programming to all children through the building of community-based partnerships and community involvement. The purpose of this article is to explore what participants said about their work with CIS: where they worked, what they did, what they liked about their work, what they disliked, their perceptions of barriers and supports, and their suggestions for positive growth. The field texts derive from three main sources: interviews with four CIS workers and one principal; documents and reports used as part of the reporting mechanism required by funding agencies and partners for both CIS and its parent organization (Community Education Networks) and minutes from principals’ meetings; and personal correspondence with the Director of Community Education Networks and the District Coordinator for Communities In Schools. Results indicate that true community involvement in schools can exist and is of benefit to the education of children, but that challenges related to time frames, salaries, and employees’ roles and expectations tied to government agency requirements need to be taken into consideration.