Brochure CoverDownload our Brochure, 408 K [PDF]

Our Goal

NSBN serves as a catalyst and third-party intermediary to front-fund, convene, and manage collaborative, stakeholder planning of smaller, joint-use and community centered schools in California's urban school districts.

With seed funding, from among others, First 5 LA Commision, NSBN will manage the master planning of a portfolio of New Schools throughout Los Angeles County that showcase for state and local decision makers the civic and educational value of building neighborhood centered, mixed use new school facilities.

Our Process

The master planning process is triggered when all collaborative partners sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging to invest staff and resources into an NSBN facilitated effort that considers opportunities to leverage available funds. NSBN then underwrites a professional design team to engage local stakeholders and ensure the project addresses community needs.

Key Elements

  • Smaller schools
  • Full-service schools
  • After-school opportunities
  • Joint-use and multi-purpose facilities
  • Healthy, energy efficient "green" schools
  • Community engagement
  • Direct links to community and civic institutions
  • Using the community as a learning asset When Does NSBN Play a Role?
  • New school construction of K-12 facilities with an early childhood or family resource center component
  • High-need area in Los Angeles County
  • Significant presence of families with children age 0-5 in the general population
  • High incidence of low-birth weight babies, newborn disability and disease and family violence.
  • Low third grade student reading scores.

Site Identification

  • Identify new joint-use school facility opportunities through outreach to community leaders and local government officials.
  • Fund and provide predevelopment services to plan joint-use schools with an early childhood education component.

Master Planning

  • Frame the best approach for siting, designing and building community-centered schools.
  • Coordinate and facilitate meetings among collaborative partners.
  • Establish agreement to build a community- centered school through a MOU signed by the collaborative partners.

Community Engagement

  • Create a strategy to include community input, where appropriate, from beginning to end-- from determining the site to designing and building the facility.


  • Build a permanent constituency to support and implement a 21st Century vision of community- centered schools.
  • A focus: informing laws, regulations and decision- making processes to implement this vision.

The Problem

  • Dense urban neighborhoods can not afford public facility solutions that offer either/or alternatives and that do not benefit from meaningful community input.

    Need for Collaborative Planning that Incorporates Multiple Community Needs into School Facility Plans

The Opportunity

  • Funds available for K-12 schools, early childhood education, parks, open space, housing and libraries.

    Significant Bond Funds Available for New Schools and other Community Needs

The Solution

  • Overcome, as residents and taxpayers do, the boundary between schools and the community both to raise student achievement and revitalize our neighborhoods.

    "Schools as Centers of Vital Neighborhoods"