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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of commonly asked questions regarding the School of the 21st Century program:

Do all schools implement 21C in exactly the same way?

What if my school already has some of the 21C components in place?

How do schools pay for 21C services?

Does 21C target specific children or families?

Does 21C work?

Who provides training and technical assistance for schools interested in 21C?

How does my school become a 21C school?


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Do all schools implement 21C in exactly the same way?
No, each school tailors the model to match its own needs and resources because every community is unique. Implementation of 21C begins with a needs assessment to determine which of the 21C core components are necessary in a given community, and implementation is guided by those findings.

What if my school already has some of the 21C components in place?
Many schools have one or more of the core 21C components in place before they become a 21C school. However, they value becoming a 21C school because 21C provides a guiding framework to examine what additional services are needed. The 21C model also stresses the importance of connections -- ensuring that programs and services work together to benefit children and families.

How do schools pay for 21C services?
There is enormous variety in the ways that different schools and districts finance their 21C programs. Most schools use a combination of parent fees (for the child care programs); federal and state funds (such as Title I and pre-kindergarten dollars); grants from local foundations; and donations from businesses and community organizations. The most successful 21C programs also receive significant in-kind contributions from their districts (space, utilities, custodial services, etc.)

Does 21C target specific children or families?
One of the unique strengths of the 21C model is that it does not target at-risk children or their families. Based on the belief that all families, at some time, can benefit from support, 21C services are available to all families in a community regardless of income or family circumstances.

Does 21C work?
Through evaluations at several 21C sites, the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy has gathered evidence of the efficacy of the School of the 21st Century model. Moreover, 21C builds on individual components that have been successfully evaluated on their own. The findings from both sources provide compelling evidence that 21C benefits children, parents, and the school as a whole.

Who provides training and technical assistance for schools interested in 21C?
Yale University serves as the national center for the School of the 21st Century and provides training, technical assistance, and evaluation services to 21C schools. Schools interested in the 21C model are encouraged to join the national 21C Network established and maintained by the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Through the network, 21C schools stay informed about relevant research, new funding opportunities, evaluation findings, and implementation strategies.

How does my school become a 21C school?
Yale University designates schools that meet certain criteria as 21C schools. These criteria include, but are not limited to, having support from district and school leaders, appointing a 21C Coordinator, developing an action plan for implementation, and attending 21C training activities sponsored by Yale University. These steps ensure that the school has the knowledge, commitment, and ability to implement a high-quality program. If your school is interested in becoming a School of the 21st Century, please contact us.


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© 2002 School of the 21st Century
The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy
310 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: (203) 432-9944
Fax: (203) 432-9945