Building Healthy Communities

Grantee Name

Coro New York Leadership Center

Funding Area

Building Healthy Communities

Publication Date

February 2017

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

July 2016 – September 2016

Community schools serve as neighborhood hubs where students receive high-quality academic instruction, families can access social services, and communities congregate to share and address their common challenges.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) began this initiative in an effort to provide a holistic and comprehensive approach to education in urban centers. At each community school, a community school director (CSD) identifies student needs and facilitates relationships with community-based organizations that can address those needs. As CSDs are not educators or NYCDOE employees, they face challenges in having the authority to lead changes in their schools as compared with traditional school leaders.

In 2016, NYHealth awarded Coro New York Leadership Center a grant to provide leadership training to 110 CSDs in New York City. The leadership training program aimed to equip CSDs with skills to implement and lead holistic practices at community schools, such as supporting the provision of in-school health and mental health services and bolstering community and parent engagement with schools.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Completed interviews with CSDs to understand the challenges of the work, the relationship between CSDs and the NYCDOE, and knowledge and skills that the CSDs hoped to gain from training;
  • Led a three-day training, which included sessions on increasing CSDs’ personal and interpersonal leadership skills, building cohesion and connection among program participants, and equipping CSDs with skills to lead complex change in challenging environments; and
  • Surveyed the program participants for feedback.

Coro met with the NYCDOE to reflect on the experience of the three-day training, discuss what worked well and what could be improved, review evaluation data, and explore interest in additional training opportunities. Of the CSD participants, nearly 76% said the adaptive leadership session was “effective” or “very effective” and nearly 90% said the session on interpersonal leadership styles was “effective” or “very effective.” NYCDOE staff also was mostly pleased with the survey results and the quality and depth of the training, but did raise areas for improvement, such as pretraining logistical planning and better navigating of NYCDOE guidelines and restrictions.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: Coro received additional funding from Deutsche Bank ($15,000), James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation ($15,000), Ford Foundation ($15,000), and Wallace Foundation ($15,000).