EDU 652 SCHOOLS-DISTRICT COMMUNITY RELATIONS PLAN 1
The main goal of this plan is to foster healthy relations withparents and members of the community and encourage them to worktogether with the school to set and accomplish common educationalgoals for students.
This goal facilitates responding to community interests and needs bybuilding and sustaining positive district relationships with familiesand caregivers. It promotes conducting needs assessments of familiesand caregivers within the district by ensuring that the schoolconsults parents, community members, and caregivers and encouragethem to take part in school planning as well as in setting goals andassessment programs. It promotes the development of collaborationstrategies necessary for effective district relationship withcaregivers and families since it is intended to make sure there is ahealthy relationship between parents and the district and encouragethem to take part in school activities.
This goal promotes the involvement of families and caregivers indistrict decision making about the education of their students sinceit enables parents to take cognizance of the educational process aswell as the role they play in promoting it. It also helps the parentsto understand school operations and get an opportunity to be informedof the academic development of their children including criteria formeasuring it. It also encourages formation and maintaining of formalparent associations within the school. Such organizations can beinvolved in meetings aimed at discussing the academic performances ofthe students and making decisions influencing their education.
Fostering relationships with members of the community, families, andcaregivers encourage cooperation between them and the school toestablish common educational goals for the students and come up withstrategies aimed at accomplishing them. While every parent isresponsible for his/her children, the district offers educationalservices as well as indirect child care for pupils when they areunder the supervision of the staff of the school. As appropriate tothe development of the students and line with the sharedresponsibilities, staff members of the school will consult theparents frequently regarding the progress made by the students, themost effective methods of enhancing student development, and issuesof correction. Besides, the involvement of the parents in the schoolsis fostered via frequent communication with the school management andstaff, the teacher/parent associations, and school volunteerprograms.
This goal promotes developing appropriate communication skills toadvocate for democracy, equity, and diversity because once a healthyrelationship has been established with the parents, there will beregular consultations and the most effective channels ofcommunication will be used. It also allows identifying andanticipating emerging trends and issues likely to affect the districtthrough regular meetings with the parents. During such meetings,matters such emerging issues and trends within the school can beidentified and analyzed. This goal also promotes adapting districtleadership strategies and practices to address emerging communityissues since there will be effective communication and cooperationwith the parents.
The goal facilitates monitoring and evaluating district managementand operational systems related to communication among districtstakeholders through frequent communication with the parents. Itmakes it possible to assess district operations and processes toascertain and prioritize tactical and strategic communication issuesfor the community. It also enables developing district operationalcommunication procedures and policies since there will be strongrelations that will facilitate efficient ways of communication. Itwill also allow development of plans to execute and efficientlymanage long-range communication objectives for the district since theparents will be involved in the decision-making process within thecommunity. This goal facilitates advocating for district families,caregivers, and students since it makes it possible to analyze theway district policy and law is applied and communicated ethically,fairly, and consistently. It also enables advocating by an evaluationof complex sources of poverty as well as other disadvantages. It alsopromotes serving as a spokesperson for families and students servedby the district since it aims at creating healthy relationshipswithin the region and enhancing cooperation. This goal safeguards thevalues of diversity, democracy, and equity via area communicationsince it promotes development, implementation, and evaluation ofdistrict communication procedures and policies, which supportdiversity, freedom, and equity issues.
This goal helps to develop a public understanding of every aspect ofthe school’s operation, to find out the attitude of the publicattitudes towards education matters, and to know the aspirations ofthe public for their children’s education. It also helps to getsupport from the community, for instance, secure adequate funds andresources for educational programs. It helps the public feel aresponsibility for the education quality the schools provide. It alsohelps the school to earn respect, confidence, and good will of thepublic regarding the staff and services of the school, to enhancepublic understanding of the necessity of constructive change andrequest for pieces of advice from the public relating to theachievement of educational objectives. Besides, it involves membersof the community in various activities of the school and addressingeducational issues facing the students and fosters the spirit ofcooperation between the community and the school and sets up channelsthat are useful to share the leadership towards improving communitywelfare (Fiore, 2016).
District Resources to Support the Plan
There are many community resources that are helpful to support theproject. Such resources offer enrichment opportunities throughwidening the experiences, which may be provided to schools andthrough improving access to local expertise. When these resources arebetter aligned and utilized, schools can recognize and accessfacilities or services at low cost to aid learning opportunitieswithin and outside school sites. Using district schools such as humanservice organizations, community colleges, community-basedorganizations, departments of recreation and parks and public safety,and other bodies can maximize opportunities for school systemseffectively. Community resources, which can play an important role insupporting this plan include nature centers, museums, aquaria,interactive science centers, zoos, gardens, and other places toexplore, which are unique to the school. Other resources includenearby creeks, ponds, businesses, city streets, members of thecommunity, and materials that can be purchased or borrowed [ CITATION Ren12 l 1033 ].
Schools can establish formal relations with various communityorganizations and request them to send volunteers to classrooms tointeract with the students and teachers. Such volunteers usuallyoffer pieces of advice and bring the relevance of the real world toschool work. They also lend their prowess to the classroom andimprove the students’ success. Individual volunteers can be matchedwith the teachers by their interests and skills as well as the needsof the teachers. They may provide interpretation, enrichingactivities, one-on-one coaching, and serve as motivational speakers.Schools can also create links with businesses and request them toapply their prowess to customized activities within the schools tohelp them accomplish their objectives. These organizations can alsoprovide different kinds of support to various plans and programs ofthe schools (Rennie & McClafferty, 2012).
Organizing field trips for students or making use of communityresources within the classrooms is not something new for schoolsystems. Nonetheless, these experiences are often thought to befrills, which compete with class time. Curriculum reforms inmathematics and science require a new viewpoint regarding utilizingresources offered by the community. The standards in mathematics andscience suggest that effective programs need access to the outsideworld beyond the classrooms for students to see the usefulness andrelevance of these subjects within and outside the school compound(National Research Council, 2012). Changing the students’educational experiences by going outside the classroom settings canconnect classroom lessons with real problems and daily life andbroaden the range of learning opportunities (Rennie &McClafferty, 2012).
Away from the school structures, several features of constructivism,a significant concept in the present-day reforms, clearly come out,for instance, many interactions can take place when studentsparticipate in interactive museum exhibits. These students tend toshare their experiences outside their classrooms with other studentsas well members of the community and exchange ideas. They identify,experience, and solve issues together. Through social disclosure,they can understand the phenomenon clearly. Indeed, the exhibitprovided by the community puts constructivism in action (Rennie &McClafferty, 2012). Schools can also benefit from gifts and offersfrom the community. Companies, colleges, hospitals, non-governmentalorganizations, or government agencies may present awards to schoolsin the form of sponsorships for students, donation of equipment orfunds to facilitate various projects or events (Rennie &McClafferty, 2012).
The present day school administrators are obliged to bemulti-talented in the way they approach their jobs. Within theperspective of collective bargaining, budget issue, instructionalimprovement, and other tasks that face them is the need for positivedistrict-schools community relations. Furthermore, positivedistrict-schools, community relations via effective communication toachieving the mission of the district is necessary since it ishelpful to anticipate and avert crises, improve communication betweenthe district and the community and respond appropriately to theinterests of particular groups. Moreover, the district does notoperate in a monolithic community and comprises of diverseconstituents. Indeed, positive community relations, as well aseffective communication, can be used to collaboratively come up with,define, implement, and steward a joint district vision of learningfor a school district. That is mainly because positive districtrelations recognize the pluralist nature of the communities (Rennie &McClafferty, 2012).
The district endorses the idea that it is essential for the communityto take part in school affairs of the schools if the system of theschool and the community are intended to ensure mutual respect andconfidence and work together towards improving the education qualityfor the students. Therefore, it plans to apply efforts to ascertainthe community’s desires and to respond, via its actions, to thesedesires. All community members are encouraged to express theirconcerns, ideas, or regarding the schools to the administration ofthe school, to a committee formed, or to appointed advisory bodies.Those who are qualified due to training, interest, personalcharacteristics, or experience are usually encouraged to usurp activeroles in school affairs. Occasionally, these persons may be calledupon by the district to act as advisors, in groups or individually.The area and staff give considerable weight to the pieces of advicethey get from the community groups and individuals with interest inthe school, specifically from those who have been called upon tooffer advice on particular issues. However, the best judgment isnormally used to arrive at decisions (Hampton City Schools, 2012).
Data related to district relations and communication can be useful toascertain district goals, evaluate organizational efficiency, andimplement a district plan to accomplish district goals. Indeed,recognition of diversities in the community gives the district basicawareness of who can develop high impact and constructive programs.After scanning the city landscape and identifying the communities,leadership can be recognized within the community. Those withexcellent leadership skills are given roles in the joint programsbetween the district and the community. This also helps in decisionmaking processes regarding educational matters of the students.Positive community relations and effective communication can also beused to promote social justice within the district to ensure thatindividual student needs inform all aspects of schooling. Inpartnership with the community, schools can ensure educationalexcellence for every student. That can be considered the mission ofthe program.
The following include the strategies or practices that can be used toimprove organizational capacity to aid sustainable and constantdistrict improvement and implement transformational change:Distribution of organizational charts to all stakeholders aboutreporting, decision-making process, as well as accountabilitystructure. Providing training sessions on effective communication ofthe message of the school and issuing public relations fact sheetsand easy-to-use tools for communication. It is imperative to provideinformation about district-wide matters regularly using media such aspostings, websites, newsletters, and emails. It is also important toformalize a district communication policy with the staff. A systemthat encourages information flow from the community or parent to thedistrict should be created and they should be encouraged to sign upfor school-wide or district-wide activities. An informational emailaccount can also be established to receive feedback from the public,the use of parent portal can be expanded to allow communicationbetween schools and the parents by putting an icon on the website ofthe district and advertise via newspapers or school messenger(Hampton City Schools, 2012).
Civic groups, religious groups, and the community can be included inmailings and be given a chance to sign up for the school’s listerv.They can also be encouraged to attend school meetings, and the schoolcan take part in community meetings as required to give communicationmaterials of the district to key leaders. By being visible in thecommunity, the district can build organizational capability tosupport sustainable and continual neighborhood improvement. That canbe achieved by attending community meetings, encouragingparticipation in local activities, supporting staff members of theschool to give positive remarks about the school to neighbors,friends, as well as community acquaintances. Partnerships can also beestablished with local groups (Hampton City Schools, 2012).
Fiore, D. J. (2016). School-Community Relations. New York: Routledge.
Hampton City Schools. (2012). Communications Plan. Hampton: Hampton City Schools.
National Research Council . (2012). National science education standards. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.
Rennie, L. J., & McClafferty, T. (2012). Using visits to interactive science and technology centers, museums, aquaria, and zoos to promote learning in science. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 175-185.