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Community involvement

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  • VT: Food for thought at an elementary school
    Summary: Working hard to engage the community, teachers, and parents has had a positive pay-off for Lawrence Barnes students. Integrating the Shelburne Farm's (VT) Sustainable Schools Project into the school curriculum has helped students connect classroom lessons to real life and made tangable how students can wield their own power to affect change. As an added bonus the project also helps English language learners bridge linguistic and cultural divides.
  • AK: To foster community support, add ICE
    Summary: With help from the Alaska Association of School Boards, this community came together to help their kids succeed acacemically. Using a specific program they call "ICE" coupled with a program using forty building blocks for young people to help them become healthy, caring, and successful adults.
  • AK: Community connects with Kodiak High School
    Summary: This remote district builds and maintains local community partnerships and uses a proven school improvement plan (overseen by the Association of Alaska School Boards) to help drive student success. One element of the plan focuses on developmental assets that help students become not only successful academically, but responsible adults as well. Improved student performance has earned one school in the district a Blue Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Department of Education. This is "proof," school leaders say, "that Kodiak's comunity engagements efforts have taken hold."
  • CO: Community engagement, Colorado style
    Summary: Teenage pregnancy, closed schools, and gaps in student achievement can be touchy subjects, but with support from the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), several Colorado school districts have tackled them head on, directly inviting citizens to meet and talk.
  • CO: Collaborating on community services in Sheridan
    Summary: With some initial community engagement training from CASB and its own twist on community conversations this small school district launched a partnership with the city council and the community to tackle common problems.
  • MD: Learning what counts
    Summary: Tony Wong, a 10-year veteran of the Cecil County School Board in Maryland, credits recent "kitchen table" conversations with prompting more involvement from citizens in his county, a relatively rural area in the northeastern corner of Maryland, bordering Delaware and Pennsylvania and nestled along the Chesapeake Bay.
  • MD: Kitchen table conversations in Caroline County
    Summary: In 2003 Caroline County became known for enthusiastic community engagement on public schools after what was billed as a “kitchen table” conversation just about burst the school cafeteria. Nearly 100 local residents came, eager to talk about what they valued and wanted in their schools.
  • AR: Study circles make a difference
    Summary: Dan Farley, executive director of the Arkansas School Boards Association (ASBA), says he attended too many meetings where people are at polar opposites, and in talking, they shut others out. That's one reason he believes so fervently in study circles, an idea launched in Arkansas in 1998 that uses a different approach to bringing people together to discuss school issues.