The Beaverton School District believes it takes everyone in the community to help our children be successful. WE encompass individuals, businesses, faith leaders, teachers, principals and community.
Each school has a Community Partnership Team comprised of several existing entities that bring parents and community into the school. Bringing these groups together creates a collaborative approach at the school level that is supported and encouraged at the District level and by the School Board.
2020 WE Awards Winners
Our annual recognition of great community partnership work across our district.
Nancy Ryles Elementary
Fir Grove Elementary
Oregon food bank
Each school shall form a Community Partnership Team from several existing entities that bring parents and community into the school. Based on principal feedback, they already meet with many of these groups separately, bringing these groups together creates a collaborative approach at the school level that is supported and encouraged at the District level and by the School Board. The Teams streamline and magnify many efforts that are underway to support each student.
The Community Partnership Team shall include:
- school principal
- school volunteer coordinator(s)
- parent group leader(s) or designee
- faith partner(s)
- business partner(s)
However, this is not an exclusive Team, and principals with their school community should identify others to expand this group, if desired. Additional partners could include:
- current staff
- retired teachers, classified staff or administrators
- senior citizens, retirees, grandparents of students
- neighbors near the local school
- Neighborhood Associations (City of Beaverton=NACs)
- Community Participation Organizations (Washington County=CPOs)
- homeowners associations
- social service agencies
- Community Partnership Teams will meet at each school regularly to plan, evaluate and adjust volunteer and community engagement activities based on ongoing school needs assessment, in collaboration with the school principal. By bringing all partners together, a more comprehensive and cohesive plan would be planned and executed to support the varied needs at each school. It is community building and relationship building at its best.
- Community Partnership Teams will keep Board Members and the Superintendent apprised of their successes, challenges and progress by submitting regular updates to the Superintendent’s Office for inclusion in the Board Packet.
Quarterly Progress Reports should include a synopsis of the activity(ies), results including the number of volunteers, hours donated through planning and execution, and student achievement data, if appropriate. In addition, anecdotal or qualitative evidence from staff and partners will be encouraged. Stories and results will illustrate the power of Community Partnership Teams and inspire even greater engagement to help all students succeed.
There are many other examples of effective partnerships and community engagement activities, so a resource bank will be developed to assist Community Partnership Teams.
In addition, these reports should also include advice for the School Board concerning the needs and perspectives of the individual school community.
The Team shall participate in three (3) District-level Community Partnership Team meetings. The District meetings would be generative and engage and recognize our partners and partnerships. In addition, these meetings develop more people who are informed ‘key communicators’ who get things done in a positive way to help move our District forward, and helping to develop a culture of innovation. Community Partnership Teams fit into the WE Collaborate Pillar of Learning.
- October meeting- District Kick-Off Breakfast for all principals and partners; sets an inspiring and energizing tone for the school year; District messages and/or requests for assistance.
- February meeting- celebration of activities underway or completed; learning about best practices and helping each other succeed; District messages and/or requests for assistance.
- May meeting- annual celebration of successes and accomplishments. Energize for the coming year.
Teams are also supported by the District’s Community Resource Coordinator, Christina Mackin, in the Communications & Community Involvement Department. Christina will promote and assist schools and departments in developing collaborative and inclusive Community Partnership Teams, helping to assess needs and making connections as requested with community partners and resources. Christina will connect the volunteerism efforts of our area business, non-profit and faith partners, understanding their goals and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and matching their vision with school/department needs.
Ongoing support via email, phone and school visits are available as requested by school teams. Other staff that will support the development of Community Partnership Teams include: Maureen Wheeler, Public Communications Officer, Melissa Larson, Communications Specialist, and Mary Hawkins, Superintendent’s Office Assistant.
“Need” refers to the gap between a present state (what is) and a desired state (what should be). The need is neither the present nor the future situation; it is the gap between them.
Here is an example of a three-step Needs Assessment Model:
- Identify major concerns or factors
- Determine indicators of need
- Consider available data (What do we already know?)
- Set preliminary priorities
- Gather data to define needs
- Prioritize needs
- Identify & analyze causes
- Summarize findings, share with team
- Finalize priority needs
- Identify possible solutions/ What is feasible?
- Select solution strategies
- Develop an action plan
Needs assessment is part of a continuous improvement cycle: Plan, Implement, Evaluate, Improve, UPDATE NEEDS ASSESSMENT... and the cycle begins again.
1. Promote and assist with developing collaborative, school-based community outreach, engagement and volunteer activities amongst parents, non-parents, business, faith communities and community organizations. The Community Partnership Team and the school principal shall meet on a regular basis to assess school needs, and collaboratively and strategically set measurable goals, plan activities, track progress and evaluate outcomes.
2. Provide quarterly electronic Progress Reports to the School Board and Superintendent. These progress reports will be included in the School Board Business Meeting Packets.
Team members will also serve as a communication link between the public in their school attendance area and the School Board.
Each school shall regularly publicize their Community Partnership Team goals, work and accomplishments in their school newsletters, social media, at school gatherings, etc.
The District will also use these success stories to further community engagement and understanding of the work happening in our schools.
3. The Team shall participate in three (3) District-level Community Partnership Team meetings to learn best practices, highlight and celebrate accomplishments and be briefed on District level issues by the Superintendent and his staff.
4. The Community Partnership Team will assist the principal and District with building use requests or issues as needed. For example, if a boundary adjustment were needed in a particular school attendance area, representatives of the Team could be asked to provide input to the District prior to final decisions. Other examples of District level engagement would be bond measures or local option levies. The Team would be the catalyst to energize the local school community.
The tremendous task of educating each and every child in the Beaverton community entails partnership, cooperation and commitment over the long-term. It means that schools, families, businesses, civic and social service organizations and faith-based communities must develop deeper, committed relationships to ensure student success, stronger families, and healthier communities.
For many years, the Beaverton School District has regularly met with church leaders across faith traditions to have an ongoing dialogue about our community’s children. We serve many of the same students and families. Some faith communities have taken the next step to build partnerships and activities to support students by providing health clinics, distributing backpacks and school supplies, and organizing work groups to clean up school grounds. And yet, there are still untapped resources that could help our schools and communities be even stronger.
Guidelines for Schools and Faith Partners
Public schools are encouraged to develop faith-based partnerships provided there is an under-standing of some concepts related to the separation of church and state. Here are some guidelines as cooperative relationships are developed:
- Under the First Amendment, public schools must be neutral concerning religion in all of their activities.
Mutually beneficial partnerships are encouraged that improve student learning and growth.
- Schools must be open to participation by all responsible community groups. Other community organizations must be given an equal opportunity and are subject to the same secular selection criteria to operate programs in partnerships with schools.
Diverse faith communities are encouraged to partner with schools.
- A student's grades, class ranking or participation in any school program will not be affected by his or her willingness to participate or not participate in a cooperative program with a faith-based partner. Student participation in any cooperative program may not be conditioned on membership in any religious group, acceptance or rejection of any religious belief, or participation (or refusal to participate) in any religious activity.
Three Levels of Partnership and Engagement
- Day of service
- Clothes Closet
- Food pantry
- Giving programs during holidays
- Teacher/staff appreciation
- Reading or math program
- College & Career Center
- Volunteer teacher's aide
- Office/clerical support
- Support athletic programs
- Grant writing
- Teen support
- Community building events
- Sponsor summer or after-school programs
Return on Innovation vs. Investment
For businesses it is wise to avoid the traditional notion of return on investment or ROI when it comes to education since it represents very short-‐term thinking when, in fact, educating a child is a long-‐term proposition. Instead, focusing on “Return on Innovation” can help companies measure their investment, not in terms of dollars and cents, but in the number of young people they are helping to achieve at higher levels.
While it can be difficult for educators to put a price tag on the capabilities and potential of a single student, they must still be mindful of metrics. If they expect significant and long-‐ term business investment, they must have clearly defined goals, outcomes and assessment tools that measure their progress on a periodic basis.
Partnership vs. Donation
There is a significant difference between a donation and a partnership. A donation is a financial transaction between a company and an education organization, often one-‐time in nature, that may require some degree of reporting on the part of the education partner.
A partnership, on the other hand, has clearly shared and defined visions, goals and outcomes that build upon each other’s strengths and strengthen each other’s weaknesses. It can be challenging at times because it involves sustaining personal relationships as the work becomes increasingly complex and staff changes occur.
Picking the Right Partner
- identifying potential organizations that share a common vision and goals
- meeting face-to-face to see if those commonalities, along with areas of expertise and infrastructure, align effectively
- assessing other business & education partnership models to learn what their experience has been
- finding a partner with credibility and a history of success in order to avoid reinventing the wheel
Ultimately, picking the right partner(s) boils down to passion. Do you both share the same values and enthusiasms about education? When you do, you’ll know it’s the right partner.
Source: (excerpts) Building a Diverse U.S. STEM Workforce: Perspectives on Creation Successful Business Education Partnerships, Bayer Corp., 2010.