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SWIFT Guide / Family & Community Engagement / / Steps to Get You Started: Trusting Community Partnerships

Steps to Get You Started: Trusting Community Partnerships

What is this resource?Your school can take specific action steps to develop trusting community partnerships. Click on one of the steps below to learn more about how to get started.

Why is it valuable?Follow these steps to implement this feature in your school.

Engage with the community.

Frequent local businesses and service organizations, and inquire about what they sell or the services they offer that might be helpful to your school.

Establish student-focused relationships with owners/proprietors of local businesses and service organizations.

Attend social and cultural events within your community and network with other attendees about ways that your school/students can serve them and they might serve your school/students.

Identify a staff member to be your school’s community liaison, and set aside time for that staff member to build and sustain community relationships.

Jointly identify mutual interests and goals.

Invite local business and service representatives to school events to discuss mutual interests and goals.

Create a site council and invite community representatives to join and engage in your school and community improvement efforts.

Survey community partners about what they see as needs of the families and students in your community.
Link those mutual interests and goals to student learning throughout the year.

Ensure reciprocity in the partnership.

Meet regularly with community partners to identify and update mutual interests and goals for a school-community partnership.

Identify ways that your school can give back to your community. For example, open the school gym or computer lab for use by community members or participate in community service learning projects or the classrooms for adult or family literacy programs.

Identify ways to harness needed community resources and services to support families and children in your school.

Maintain an "open door policy" with community members.

Invite families, school staff, and community members to provide meaningful feedback on your school programs, policies, practices, and goals.

Invite individual local business and service representatives to tour your school, observe classrooms, and participate in a classroom or schoolwide event.

Be intentional about scheduling times to meet with community representatives to talk about student, family, school and community needs.

Make your school building(s) open and available for use by community groups.

Invite community members to serve in various roles within the school.

Invite community members to serve on committees and leadership teams and contribute to your school governance decisions.

Ask community members to evaluate the performance of your school staff.

Incorporate community members as active participants in your school projects, field trips, classroom lessons, and celebrations.

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