Principal’s Perspective: Key Components for an Ideal School/Community Partnership

Posted by on March 24, 2011
Principal’s Perspective:
The Key Components for an Ideal School/Community Partnership:
I spoke with John Amenda, principal of Young Scholars Charter School on Tuesday afternoon about the challenges and potential for community partnerships in his school. This is one principal’s perspective that gives some insight as to what the stakes are for schools in connecting with CBOs and IHEs.

Young Scholars is a “no excuses” charter school, with a similar model to KIPP and Mastery charters. ( Young Scholars charter school operates and is able to expand based on their level of success in student test scores and student achievement.

I spoke with Mr. Amenda about “what it would take” to have a strong community partnership in his school. These would be his ideal conditions:

An integrated/seamless partnership where there is:

  • Initial goal setting and mission alignment.
  • Communication to families about the purpose of the program
  • Defined benchmark periods to review project goals
  • Teacher investment and professional development
  • Ability for the program to feed in to the school’s goals and be meeting a direct academic or skill building need for students
  • An incentive on both the Higher Ed side and the K-12 side to ensure that it is a rigorous; standards based program. (for example: In a tutoring program if there is less skill building and investment on the tutor’s side to be successful then the program has the potential to create more set backs than solutions for a principal and for teachers)

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