Community Partnerships – Staging
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 establish school-community partnerships as a strategic goal, with clear parameters for such partnerships, including processes for considering, vetting, and engaging in such partnerships. Partnerships include: 1) the extension of learning into the community, connections related to exhibitions and reviews of student work, and 2) coordination of after school 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 establish and communicate clear expectations that schools/classrooms will include opportunities for local and global community partnerships. All capacity-building elements are in place or carefully readied for implementation (e.g., associated series of professional development and training, models, curricular materials, and instructional coaches).
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 finalize the technical specifications for a digital learning environment with outreach into local and global communities. They build and deploy the environment or authorize and fund a group to do so. They offer training and professional development to ensure effective use. Support structures are in place.
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 design, produce, and deploy a robust communication system that is responsive to the needs of individual families. The system is flexible and adaptable at the school level. It includes specific strategies for drawing parents into frequent dialogue with staff members regarding the needs and accomplishments of their children.
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 develop the web structure for the branding and the initial content for the brand. Their model includes opportunities to refresh continuously the stories that represent the brand.