Seven elements for effective community-school partnerships

Partnerships for learning require that all partners involved understand and stick to strategies that encourage collaboration.

The phrase “It takes a village” is at the heart of a school reform movement called partnerships for learning, which aims to integrate community resources with local schools to educate the “whole child.” Now, a new report reveals the keys to successful community-school partnerships.

According to the Harvard Family Research Project report, “Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success,” data collected from a community schools initiative called Elev8 show what successful partnerships for learning look like—and the effects these can have on learning.

Many educators are shifting away from the “traditional education model in which schools focus primarily on providing youth with a solid foundation in academics,” explains the report. “Instead, they are moving toward a more comprehensive approach that supports youths’ physical, social, and emotional needs in addition to their academic achievement.”

When partners work together to combine resources strategically, aligning their goals with the curriculum, a “seamless web of supports” is created that provides children with a “holistic learning experience,” says the report.

(Next page: Conditions that youth need to succeed, and seven elements of successful partnerships for learning)

Meris Stansbury

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