6.2 Design community engagement and input processes
+ Authentic engagement with your families, neighborhoods, and communities is critical to your success.
Through the community engagement process, new ideas, perspectives, and challenges will surface and help define and impact the SGS strategy. Focus on creating a culture of feedback and continuous communication that genuinely shapes decision-making.
+ Identify key stakeholders within the district who are impacted by SGS activities and can influence the reform effort.
Start with parents and families, schools, social services organizations, faith-based organizations, politicians (e.g. mayor, state senators), business leaders, philanthropic groups and organizations serving children with disabilities and English language learners.
Choose the best messenger (superintendent, community leader, principal, etc.) when engaging various audiences.
Hold regular, ongoing meetings in places where communities gather to collect input such as parent focus groups or “town hall” style meetings.
Create an advisory board of community leaders to solicit feedback and carry messaging.
Develop a task force of educators and nonprofits to collect information and best practices.
Engage schools and school leaders on the best path forward.
+ Use community feedback to inform district policy and be sure to tell the public when you have taken responsive actions.
For families, this strategy will provide multiple opportunities to share values, concerns, and desires for their children and to increase support and confidence in school district leadership and initiatives.
For the district, this will result in the collection of quality feedback that gives insight into community concerns. These communities can then be addressed through your district’s SGS strategy, resulting in a broader coalition of support from key stakeholders in the community.