Community Partnerships – Investigating


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 annually survey the community for opportunities for partnerships and cooperative relationships. Their communication outreach and public forums provide community members a voice in school decisions and activities.

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 a review of effective models of school-community partnerships that build global and cultural awareness. Representatives attend conference sessions, talk with district leaders who are implementing such programs, and identify key characteristics of effective learner-centered practices.

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 review information on the critical elements of an online learning environment (e.g., access, eCommunication, resource libraries, file exchanges, and Web tools) that facilitate interactions among peers and between teachers, parents, and students in school and beyond.

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 research options for parental communications and engagement. They survey connectivity needs among parents before designing communication systems.

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 research models for establishing a brand. They survey the community to gather information on current perceptions of the district.