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Jessica Strauss

Jessica Strauss, M.Phil., L.G.S.W., Co-Founder, Senior Associate for Program Design & Development

JessicaJessica Strauss is the Co-Founder and Senior Associate for Program Design and Development of the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools. She has been an independent consultant for 16 years, focusing on school and community partnerships. In those years, she has provided research, planning facilitation, program design, initiative design and policy development for Government agencies, Foundations, and Non-Profit organizations. She is expert in school partnerships, family and community engagement, human services for urban children and families, and organizational development for schools and grassroots organizations.

Ms. Strauss worked for eight years as a Consultant for the National Center for Community Schools of the Children’s Aid Society, where she served as a consultant to several communities as they planned and expanded community schools, and as project manager for the 2009 roll-out of capacity-building methodology and a compendium of materials, developed over 15 years by NCCS staff.

Ms. Strauss co-founded and led Baltimore Community School Connections, an intermediary TA center, from 2003 to 2007, developing and supporting Baltimore’s 26-school initiative. Her prior clients have included Family Support America, where she served as Senior Advisor for Family Support in Schools for three years, and authored a number of magazine articles and a handbook on Shared Leadership: A Process for Family and Community Engagement. She spent ten years as a half-time Consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she provided research and development for new portfolios and edited a series of monographs, Elders As Resources for Youth.

She was Co-Chair of the Urban Initiatives Network of the national Coalition for Community Schools from 2005 – 2010, and has been active over the years in developing the Coalition’s federal policy, evaluation and strategic initiatives. Prior to her consulting career, Ms. Strauss was founding Director of a comprehensive family development center in East Baltimore and Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Essex Community College. She holds degrees in Social Work from Morgan State University (M.S.W., 2011), Political Philosophy from Oxford University (M.Phil., 1980), and Political Science from Wellesley College (B.A., Wellesley Scholar, 1977); she was post-certified in the doctoral program (ABD, 1984) at The Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Strauss can be reached at: JStrauss@ACTS-Alliance.org