The 21st century presents enormous and changing challenges in preparing students for the future. Unfortunately, schools can not meet these challenges alone. The entire community-businesses, civic groups, government agencies, religious organization, parents and concerned citizens-must work together to provide a learning environment where young people grow, develop and find networks of support. Partners in Education is such an initiative which promotes community/schools partnerships to enhance and enrich educational programs to help student reach their full academic potential.
What Makes a Great Partnership?
Direct personal involvement. It is far more important that the partners participate directly with the student than just give money to the school. This means being there, communicating and interacting directly with students and school personnel, becoming involved in special events and regularly attending your school’s partnership meetings.
Enthusiasm. All parties involved are excited about the programs. Enthusiasm is sustained by regular communication among partners.
Commitment. Ownership of by product of personal involvement and enthusiasm. Ongoing involvement, rather than a one-time gift, is the key to outstanding partnerships.
Planning and organization. Schools with strong programs develop annual and monthly plans and they hold regular meetings to discuss these plans with their partners.
Strong support from the top and good delegation. The principal selects the partnership coordinator for the school. In a similar way, leadership of partnering organizations must set the tone in supporting the school partnership, but normally will select someone else with the organization to coordinate activities.
An honest, assertive relationship. The school presents its needs and the partner surveys its available resources. The parents are invited to initiate their own programs for the school. Each side can tell the other freely when activities or requests for assistance aren’t appropriate, welcome, or comfortable.