Publications

Brief

School-Community Partnerships: Voices from the Field

12/2021

This product is one of a series of practitioner briefs dedicated to highlighting concrete strategies that education leaders can use to increase equity in education by building supportive learning environments that meet students’ social and emotional needs. One such strategy is school-community partnerships. Through partnerships with outside organizations and agencies, schools can provide more students with the learning conditions they need to thrive. MDRC, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the Education Trust recently released a brief that describes these partnerships and the evidence for them, and that reflects on how these partnerships can assist districts and schools in meeting the social and emotional needs of all students.

The initial brief included some advice from three leaders of successful district-level partnership programs. This companion brief focuses specifically on these leaders’ suggestions for how districts can create systems and structures that help schools build and sustain partnerships. It presents steps to (1) plan and implement partnerships, (2) build trusting relationships, and (3) promote partnerships’ sustainability and long-term success. Quotes from these three leaders throughout illuminate the rationale behind their advice. While the three leaders come from urban districts of varying sizes, much of their advice can apply to smaller districts and rural districts as well.