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date: 19 December 2018

Developing and Supporting Educational Leaders for Successful Community Partnerships

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Please check back later for the full article.

Effective community school leaders build strong, reciprocal, and sustainable partnerships to support student growth and strengthen families and communities. Developing authentic alliances among teachers, parents, and community stakeholders builds a climate of trust and positive relationships to strengthen democratic schools. Educational outcomes are influenced by social and academic contexts as well as school and non-school factors. The greatest influence on students is the family, and the greatest influence on the family is the community. The combination of a quality learning experience in the classroom with the integration of families and community is critical for student success.

Community school leaders cross traditional role boundaries and build cross-cultural fluency while balancing managerial concerns, navigating politics and external accountability pressures, and fostering shared accountability. Community organizing strategies enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods, empower parents to take an active role in the education of their children, and build a sense of belonging, equitable practices, and a focus on social justice education.

Successful leaders make this look easy, yet the interplay of a leader’s knowledge base, skill sets, and dispositions to transform the school community is complex.