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Developing Collaborative Partnerships with Families and the Community

Transformative education administrators must collaborate with local community members to effectively achieve educational change and support student development and achievement. These leaders recognize the significance of these relationships in boosting student achievement and creating an encouraging environment in the classroom. Building and district administrators who want to build these connections take action to make it easier for people in the local community to connect with them and the district in meaningful ways. Also, they preserve open lines of communication among the many stakeholders. They understand the need to establish connections with families, especially those reluctant to participate in the classroom. These leaders also know that their district and buildings need to work with community members and leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to improve students' academic and extracurricular opportunities.

True educational leaders know that their students' success depends on the quality of the relationships they establish with their families and community members. Therefore, these administrators regularly keep parents up to date on their child's development and include them in important decisions to foster strong connections with them. Another tactic used by building and district leaders is fostering parental involvement through volunteer and other involvement opportunities. Parents are encouraged to get involved in their children's schools in several ways, including by volunteering to help with events and activities like field trips, reading programs, and sports teams; attending workshops at which they are given information on topics like study skills, technology, and bullying prevention; and attending regular meetings with teachers and other school officials to discuss school policies and programs and offer suggestions and feedback. In addition, district directors and coordinators teamed up with a community member, like a business owner, to set up student work-shadowing opportunities. They have also teamed up with a non-profit to offer students health services or activities to help them succeed. Finally, the curriculum director seeks collaboration with a local college and their staff to provide students with dual enrollment opportunities. Transformative leaders understand that in order for students to succeed in school, they must develop strong bonds with their families and the community.

Establishing and maintaining open lines of communication with parents and the wider community is a priority for any educational leader who is serious about making a difference in students' lives. To accomplish this, these district and building leaders must actively include and listen to people in the community and their families at all levels of decision-making. In addition to traditional methods like letters and phone calls, these administrators must also use digital media, such as email newsletters and social media posts, to keep in touch. References to the district's mission and vision are included in every communication the district or a school sends out. This superintendent encourages open conversation by holding frequent town hall meetings. When developing classes and programs, Curriculum and Instruction welcomes feedback from parents and community members through surveys and committee meetings. Principals make it easier for parents and teachers to talk to each other by setting up and holding parent-teacher conferences at convenient times and places. Principals and their teams work with families and the larger community to shape the school's special education curriculum and college and career readiness initiatives. Facility directors ensure that the school grounds are accessible and appealing for families and others in the community to come and participate in school activities. Any educational leader serious about making a difference in students' lives must prioritize open lines of communication with parents and the larger community.

A transformational educational leader recognizes the importance of developing relationships with families, including those who are hesitant to get involved with the school. Relationships between school leaders and their students' families are meaningful because they create a positive and inclusive school environment, improve communication and collaboration between the school and families, and ultimately support students' academic and personal success. Hosting community events such as potlucks and barbecues, attending cultural and religious celebrations, visiting homes, and having personal interactions, such as during drop-off and pick-up times, are all ways for principals and assistant principals to develop and maintain connections with families who are hesitant to be involved with the school. Directors and coordinators may also establish and maintain relationships. For example, the athletic director plans outdoor or recreational events such as picnics, sports games, or nature walks. In collaboration with BOCES, the technology directors may develop a mobile app or text messaging system for families to get school updates and information. In addition, the heads of facilities and special education are working with community groups to create a family resource center inside the school that will offer resources and services to families. A leader in education who wants to change things knows how important it is to connect with families, especially those who don't want to be involved in school activities.

A transformational educational leader recognizes the value of collaborating with the community, public, private, and non-profit sectors to improve student learning in and out of the classroom. Building and district leaders can use the skills and resources of their community to give students opportunities that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Thus, providing students with a more well-rounded and successful education. Principals can help their students even more by teaming up with local businesses to sponsor school activities or programs, donate materials and equipment, and bring in guest speakers. They can also work to develop relationships with non-profit groups to provide afterschool programs, college, and job preparedness resources, assistance for students with special needs, and health and wellness services. Also, district administrators like the STEAM Coordinator and Curriculum Directors work with universities and trade unions to offer students apprenticeships, trade days, college evenings, and field trips. By working together to help students learn in and out of school, these leaders can ensure that students are well-prepared for future success.

If building and district leaders want to help students achieve, they must build positive relationships with families and the community. If these leaders want to change how things are accomplished in their districts and buildings, they must value these connections and relationships with their community and work hard to make and keep them. Transformative education leaders communicate with them, include them in critical decisions, and enable their involvement. They collaborate with the government, business, and non-profit sectors to give students a well-rounded education that will prepare them for future success. Only when education leaders place a priority on their relationships with families and the surrounding community will they be able to provide a welcoming and productive space for students to achieve.

Developing Collaborative Partnerships with Families and the Community
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