Developing educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Concept Map

Definition

School leaders and staff ensure that the school and its community are a resource for each other and that there are frequent and meaningful interactions with families and community partners

Evidence

  • Data from surveys given to parents, students, community, alumni, etc.
  • Reflections from community partners on a program or task, where they partnered with the school
  • Media coverage
  • Feedback from students who work with community partner on a service-learning project

Examples

  • Partnerships with other educational institutions (private schools, universities, tech schools, etc.)
  • Sponsoring “Forum Nights” to gather input from community stakeholders
  • Strong relationship with PTO, Boosters, etc.
  • Outreach to families of all students for feedback on school issues
  • School staff are comfortable asking community for help in addressing their needs

Connections to Principles of "Lived Civics"

  • Students are encouraged to bring their expertise to their communities through partnerships and projects with stakeholders in community
  • Community partnerships are created to address issues articulated by student and families

Case Study

Uplift Community High School has been designated as a Sustainable Community School. This designation is built on six pillars of school transformation, two of which relate directly to school/community partnerships: authentic parent and community engagement and inclusive school leadership for implementation. Uplift's designated community partner is Kuumba Lynx (KL), a well-known hip hop arts collective that has operated in Uptown (Uplift's community) for over 20 years. KL brings socially conscious arts to youth and engages with communities through conversations around current issues. They also have a deep commitment to restorative practices and building positive relationships.

Uplift hopes to transform its school culture and climate to one that is more restorative and respectful of student voices and sees KL as a partner in this work. As part of the initiative, there is a Sustainable Community Schools liaison whose job it is to build bridges between KL and Uplift and recruit and involve parents to work on issues of the school and community. The Parent Voices group works on addressing affordable housing, tenant issues, and rent control. Finally, a Community School Leadership Team provides ongoing support and includes representation from students, parents, interested community members, and the business community. The team meets monthly focusing on outreach to ultimately inform and involve the community.