Capacity-Building Strategies: A Developmental Rubric

About the Rubric

The Capacity-Building Strategies, developed by the State Transformational Assistance Center (S-TAC) for the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP), is a developmental rubric that is intended to serve as a road map for both Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and school sites as they work towards transforming their schools to community schools. The Capacity-Building Strategies align with the California Community Schools Framework, its overarching values, and CCSPP statutory requirements, and is intended to be used to both guide and gauge progress. The Capacity-Building Strategies emphasize the use of meaningful measures and data that should continuously shape, and reshape, the work.

Stages of Growth and Development

The Capacity-Building Strategies are structured by three sequential phases of growth and development and phase-specific strategies and activities that aim to assist LEAs and schools in gauging their growth and progress as they engage in the work of transformation. Guiding questions and self-assessment tools provide opportunity for reflection. The strategies and activities outlined in the rubric aim to strengthen and build the capacity of all interest-holders, and create the opportunity for collective efficacy and action in meeting shared goals.

The phases of growth and development:


Visioning is focused on the initial stages of raising consciousness around the community schools strategy. LEAs and schools, with students, families and community partners, envision and explore how community schools can foster racially-just, relationship-centered spaces, shared power, establish classroom-community connections and continuous improvement.


Engaging is focused on building the capacity of community schools and LEAs to deeply engage students, families, educators and community members and partners in the community school transformation process. LEAs and schools, in partnership, develop plans, based on a deep needs and asset assessment and build the organizational capacity and infrastructure necessary to implement the community schools strategy.


Transforming is focused on action rooted in findings from the deep needs and asset assessment. LEAs and schools fully implement the community schools strategy, in partnership with students, families, school staff, and community members and use established structures and practices to reflect on data and work towards continuous improvement.

The Capacity-Building Strategies

Capacity-building strategies and associated activities within each phase form a critical step towards achieving school transformation. The capacity-building strategies and activities further shared power by ensuring students, families, community partners and educators participate in all activities. Data is used for continuous improvement and reflection throughout. The capacity-building strategies and activities are all in service of developing and maintaining thriving community schools where students, families and the community flourish.

Click on the name of the capacity to view the corresponding rubric.


Why This Matters

Graphic with the text "Shared understanding and commitment"

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When interest-holders develop a shared understanding and commitment to the goals and expectations of the community schools strategy, and fully commit to the strategy, they can work together towards realizing their common vision. Shared understanding and commitment promotes collaboration, support for change, transparency and democratic values.

Graphic with the text "collective priorities: setting goals and taking action"

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When interest-holders come together to identify collective priorities (through a needs and assets assessment), it fosters shared focus on those areas deemed most critical by local communities, influences the impact of the strategy, and helps build momentum to sustain efforts over time.

Graphic with the text "collaborative leadership"

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Shared decision-making ensures all interest-holders have a voice in the transformation process and fosters shared power of the strategy. Collaborative leadership improves coordination of services, fosters supportive relationships, results in decisions that are widely accepted and implemented, and supports sustainability of the effort.

Graphic with the text "coherence: policy and initiative alignment"

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Establishing coherence and alignment across policies and initiatives is critical in the success of the community school strategy. Coherence helps clarify purpose, ensures efficient use of resources, avoids conflicting policies, creates synergy and the amplification of impact, and promotes sustainability.

Graphic with the text "staffing and sustainability"

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A focus on staffing and sustainability ensures that the necessary human and financial resources are available to maintain the strategy over time, and to sustain continuous progress and improvement.

Graphic with the text "strategic community partnerships

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Developing strategic community partnerships allows schools and LEAs to build a stronger network of support and culturally responsive programming and resources for students, educators and families, and to foster a more inclusive, democratic and supportive learning environment that benefits everyone in the community.

Graphic with the text "professional learning"

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Professional learning strengthens the capacity of school staff, fosters a culture of continuous improvement, enhances collaboration and coordination, and inspire staff members to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. Professional learning enhances collaboration and coordination and provides opportunities for interest-holders to develop shared understandings, build relationships, and coordinate their efforts to better support student success.

Graphic with the text "centering community-based curriculum and pedagogy"

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Community-based curriculum and pedagogy builds on the rich, diverse cultural, linguistic backgrounds of students and families. It can increase students’ engagement in their learning by connecting to real-life experiences and issues that are relevant to students’ lives and communities, improving their sense of ownership and agency.

Graphic with the text "progress monitoring and possibility thinking"

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When interest-holders come together to review data on student outcomes and program effectiveness, they can ensure that the strategy is responsive to the assets and needs of students and families and adapt practices to better support success. Progress monitoring and possibility thinking allows for the celebration of successes, development of new strategies, structures and practices, and builds stronger relationships and partnerships among interest-holders.

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