By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News, February 3, 2013 — According to the Harvard Family Research Project report, “Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success,” data collected from a community schools initiative called Elve 8 show what successful partnerships for learning look like—and the effects these can have on learning.
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.
According to the report, by offering an array of combined services, community schools are able to create five “conditions” that research indicates are necessary for youth to succeed:
1. A shared vision of learning: Partners share a common understanding of the goals and resources needed to support children’s learning.
2. Shared leadership and governance: Partners have an equal say in leading efforts to support children and families
3. Complementary partnerships: Partners share complementary skills and areas of expertise to create a seamless and comprehensive set of learning supports for children.
4. Effective communication: Partners communicate effectively and frequently to ensure they are aligning their activities and are working in harmony with one another.
5. Regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress: Partners have access to crucial data that help them better understand the youth they serve.
6. Family engagement: Families serve as key partners to help address the complex conditions and varied environments where children learn and grow.
7. Collaborative staffing models: Schools and community organizations create staffing structures that intentionally blend roles across partners, so that staff work in multiple settings to provide adult support spanning school and non-school hours.
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