Partnerships Between Schools and Businesses – Standard 6: communicate and collaborates with a variety of stakeholders

Reflecting on my readings from “School-Business Partnerships” by the Council for Coportate and School Partnerships, I focused on:

Five ideas that play to my strengths

  1. organizing mentors
  2. leading discussions with community members to find the needs
  3. one-on-one discussions with possible partners
  4. reaching out and finding the human resources needed to set up partnerships
  5. creating a “dream team” that will reach out into the business community

Five ideas that I feel are in your zone of weakness

  1. cold-calling procurement
  2. working through the “politics” of legalities when it comes to a public institution working with a private entity
  3. my understanding of the available partnerships
  4. making unilateral decisions that do not have the backing of my staff
  5. addressing confrontative members when partnerships do not meet the need or follow through on promises

Five ideas that I would like to try (these could be strengths, weaknesses or others)

  1. making an appointment with a school who has successful partnerships
  2. implementing an additional mentor program
  3. talking with area businesses who already partner with schools and find out what they like and what needs improvement
  4. working with student leadership to find their comfort level in partnering with businesses that will eventually fund school activities
  5. research other mentor programs to see if would be beneficial to add another one to our school

Reflection: What ethical/moral issues do you need to consider when developing school-business partnerships…

It’s funny to think of, but the idea of nepotism; not full-blown procuring from family members, but the voices that are the loudest in the school who will promote the needs that feed their connections/best interests.  For example, if I have a family who is employed at Costco and fully involved in the PTSA, to benefit their needs they will tout how Costco can fully fund ___ at the school without taking into account any other opinions.  I know this is not a deep, theological/moral conversation; however, the idea that the 1% speaks for the 99% has to break apart somewhere.

Another moral issue I see that could be a problem, is the idea that what I believe may be counter to the community.  How am I going to allow a decision to be made that goes against what I personally believe IF it helps build community engagement, benefits the school and student learning?  Is there a line that I will not cross or do I have a choice at all?

Ethically, the administration has an obligation to filter a lot of noise out of their decision making and focus in on the best interests of the school, students, and thus community.  To do this, a “mission statement”-type agreement needs to be clear with strong boundaries before venturing into partnerships so that all involved understand what the goal/s should be.

Currently, I do not have an active roll in creating partnerships with our community; however, I believe in the importance of building relationships with the diverse stakeholders.  The stakeholder whom I see the most valuable is our parents.  I am in total agreement with Baquedano-Lopez et. al. (2013) when they state “One key goal stated: ‘Every parent in the United States will be a child’s first teacher and devote time each day to helping his or her…child learn. To accomplish this, parents should have access to the training and support they need’” (p. 153). This begins in the preschool age and should continue through high school. It is difficult though, especially from our attempts in connecting to our parent community.  Our administration has attempted to train our parents in social and emotional support for their students; held conversations regarding multi-cultural relationships between students and staff; and tried to create opportunities for parents to interact in different ways in the planning and recommending objectives that meet the needs of students from our community.  What it seems though is parents voice their concerns but do not volunteer to give their time.

Recently, our principal has begun holding “Coffee with Keith” (2018-2019) gatherings.  These gatherings are “a monthly opportunity for parents, guardians and families to ask questions and provide a parent perspective to me in a small group setting.  These talks are for discussing topics related to Skyline as a whole and not an opportunity to discuss topics specific to your student, a staff member or particular program” (Skyline). As a member of the staff, I have not attended; however, I have looked in on two of them and there are only a handful of attendees.  It can be easy to become discouraged when there seems to be so little interest.

My plan is to become more active in how to create opportunities for parents to become involved in my classrooms.  I have had the priviledge of hearing from first generation Vietnamese immigrants during a Vietnam War unit as well as relatives of the survivors of the Holicaust.  I know that parents can be a natural resource that students gleen so much information from.  This will go beyond parents’ ability to connect with what is happening in the classroom digitally.  There are many programs and applications that “taken together, these new ways to communicate are giving parents a deeper look into their children’s performance and experience in the classroom, while forging tighter relationships between schools and families” (Minero, E. 2017).  My experience with these types of technological “connections” only lead to parents receiving a partial piece of their students’ work ethic, the teachers’ intent, and the school-wide purpose.

References

Baquedano-López, P., Alexander, R. A., & Hernandez, S. J. (2013). Equity Issues in Parental and Community Involvement in Schools. Review of Research in Education,37(1), 149-182. doi:10.3102/0091732×12459718

The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships. (unknown). A How To Guide for School Business Partnerships.

Minero, E. (2017, November 22). Parent Engagement in the Digital Age. Retrieved July 11, 2018, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/parent-engagement-digital-age

Skyline High School Skyline. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/skylinehs/view/featured-news/2018/11/20/coffee-with-keith

 

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