Alesia Montgomery, Boys Town National Training
A while back we found a great article from Education Week on the 6 Types of Relationships that can make schools great. In response, we shared strategies to help you build these types of relationships. Check out our posts on building relationships among students and supporting the school with healthy adult relationships.
Here we will focus on the importance of relationships between schools and members of the community. Having strong relationships between schools and communities is mutually beneficial to students and the community. When students feel supported by the larger community they are more likely
to attend school on a regular basis, misbehavior decreases and community pride increases. It’s a win-win, strong communities create strong students.
School and Community Relationships
Educate Students About their Community - have students research historical buildings or events that are connected to their community. The ultimate goal is for students to develop a deeper appreciation for their rich community history. At the same time, students will be educating the community & welcoming them into their school. Here are some ideas to bring the community together as students share what they learn:
School and Home Relationships
Involve Parents – Before we can truly engage parents we must first understand that parents will be involved with their child’s education and school activities in different ways. Realistically speaking, not every parent can or will attend all of the school functions their child is involved in. Ruby Payne, Ph.D. once said, “There is no correlation between physical presence of parents at school and student achievement. The correlation is between parental involvement and student achievement”. She realized that there are other ways that parents can support their child’s achievement, and that not every parent can physically come to school (i.e. disabilities, work schedules, addiction).
Watch our free webinar, Connecting with Parents: Trust, Communication & Collaboration, for tips and strategies.
Work in School and Work in the Adult World Relationships
Establish Career Centers at the High School Level- A great way to ensure that a student’s work in school is closely aligned to the work in the adult world is to establish Career Centers or Academies. As extensions of schools, career centers typically have technical programs that offer college credit for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with an interest in exploring a career. Career Centers teach students skills required for future employment and education. They often offer hands-on, lab-oriented classes to provide career awareness while working with current technology. Popular career programs may include:
Forging strong relationships between schools and community is a powerful force for developing strong students and families that can contribute to long-term community success. Communities that have strong, positive relationships with schools have a solid workforce, higher job satisfaction, improved housing options and a flourishing economy. Positive relationships between school and community is an overall benefit to every family and community member.