Community Partnerships – Envisioning


Element: Local Community Engagement and Outreach

Description: The school serves as a hub of the local community. As such, it actively involves the community in achieving its learning goals, reaching out to the community to (1) extend learning into community centers, libraries, businesses, higher education institutions, museums, and other public spaces; (2) bring relevance to curricula through partnerships that take the shape of apprenticeships, community service, and the use of community-based experts and resources; (3) implement community-based exhibitions, reviews, critiques, and celebrations of student work; and (4) coordinate after school programs, including collaboration with the school and students’ teachers. Community Engagement and Outreach.

Possible Next Step: District leaders are continuously seeking community partnerships (e.g., extending learning into community centers, libraries, museums, community-based exhibitions, coordinated afterschool programs).

Element: Global and Cultural Awareness

Description: The community partnerships extend and deepen students’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of cultures and communities other than their own. Digital networks enable students and education professionals to connect, interact, and collaborate with other students, experts, and organizations from outside of their locale. The school builds the capacity of students to recognize and value diversity, enabling them to participate successfully in community partnerships online and face-to-face.

Possible Next Step: District leaders conduct public and internal sessions on school-community partnerships locally and globally. Educators across the district envision such environments at all levels. District leaders include global and cultural awareness in their district and school visions.

Element: Digital Learning Environments as Connectors to Local/Global Communities

Description: The school district has established a digital learning environment that offers students access, e-communication, resource libraries, file exchanges, and Web tools, which facilitate interactions among peers and between teachers, parents, and students in school and beyond. District leaders build digital citizenship in students and structure online communities that to ensure online safety and security.

Possible Next Step: District leaders map the elements of a digital learning environment to its vision of personalization of learning, student-centered learning, deeper learning, and global and cultural awareness. In doing so, they envision student work, interactions, exchanges, and contributions at all levels, within the school and beyond, with local and global communities. Pilots of various aspects of the environment have been authorized and are underway.

Element: Parental Communication and Engagement

Description: School leaders engage parents and students in home-to-school communications through a variety of venues. While this may include internet-based solutions, it also includes options that do not depend on connectivity in the home.

Possible Next Step: District leaders include specific language and requirements for parental communications and engagement in all district plans, instructional and technological. They envision a communication system designed for parents that is flexible and adaptable to meet the families’ needs.

Element:District Brand

Description: Branding is defined as the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. It’s critical that our schools develop a brand as well, and that the brand represents visionary thinking and 21st Century learning. The brand should be transparent to all members within the organization—they must all be telling the same story, one that they believe in and stand behind.

Possible Next Step: District leaders conduct focus groups and interviews related to the story that various constituents want the brand to convey.