Engagement of stakeholders throughout your community can be a powerful asset in shaping the future of the school district. Fostering a positive working relationship with the community cultivates a progressive district climate. The Board Leadership team can facilitate your district’s community engagement by connecting with both internal and external stakeholders through focus group discussions, online/multimodal surveys, and one-on-one interviews. We tailor our service to each school district’s needs by carefully selecting the groups involved and the discussion topics and questions utilized.
The Need for Community Engagement
A most challenging, yet vital role of the Board is to establish district vision and goals. Community Engagement can offer a board powerful insight into what these operational and instructional goals should be and models great representative leadership as you are inviting constituents to partake in the process. Giving stakeholders the opportunity to be heard prior to setting goals ensures that those goals are reflective of the community’s values for education. Thus, a board can gain community support as they take action to address issues related to students, their learning environment, and academic achievement.
The Value of Community Engagement
The key principles and values involved include:
- Ongoing public engagement, not just one-time public input
- Connecting with citizens as owners, not as customers
- Reflecting different voices or viewpoints, not just geography or demographics
- Building common ground, not just consensus
- Creating knowledge, not just providing information
Effective community engagement addresses legitimate public issues and grows the capacity of a democratic community to work collectively and collaboratively to meet the public good. Ultimately, this process is about enhancing student learning and achievement, which is what we all strive for by serving public education.
For more information, contact Marcia Herring at mherring@NASBonline.org