Facilitator’s Guide for Effective School Partnerships Toolkit
Posted by Abt Associates on March 26, 2018
[Note: PHENND was pleased to be a part of the original research that informed the Toolkit, through the work of our School Community Partnerships VISTA Project.]
Schools and districts have long partnered with external organizations to deliver an extraordinary range of enriching programming to their students during and after the traditional school day. A growing body of evidence suggests that these programs can be strongly beneficial to schools, students, and parents alike.
But, despite the clear benefits of school-based partnerships, schools and external organizations often find it difficult to develop and maintain effective partnerships with clearly aligned goals. New evidence suggests a way forward: clear and identifiable systems and processes that districts, schools and partner organizations can adopt in order to establish, support and manage partnerships in ways that maximize student success.
Research-Based Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships
For the last three years, Abt Associates has worked closely with school district leaders and partner organizations in Philadelphia to identify elements of effective school-based partnerships. Our research suggests that the elements of developing and maintaining successful school-based partnerships fall into two categories — systems and processes to establish and assess partnerships and intentional management of partnerships.
All participants must establish systems and processes to support their partnerships. They should regularly monitor school goals and needs and use data to identify and prioritize school needs that can be met through school-based partnerships. Successful partnerships also should establish processes for measuring partnership progress and outcomes, and for reflecting upon data to inform future programming decisions.
Step-by-Step Facilitator’s Guide for ‘Partnering for Student Success’
To support facilitators who will deliver training workshops to encourage stakeholders’ use of the Partnering for Student Success guide, Abt, in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, developed a step-by-step Facilitator’s Guide for Partnering for Student Success: A Practical Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships.
Anyone interested in helping schools and partners to strengthen school-based partnerships can use this Facilitator’s Guide to plan and develop trainings. Facilitators might include district or school staff, staff from organizations that partner with schools, or members of community-based agencies. The materials in this guide were designed to be user-friendly for individuals with varying levels of experience with partnerships and/or with planning and delivering training.
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