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Seven Key Elements Named for Successful Partnerships for Learning

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Today, many educators look at the "whole child" as they assess a student's path to successful achievement.

Going beyond an "academics-only" model relies on partnerships for learning, with schools, families, community organizations, and services combining to lift a student's ability to excel, while focusing on his or her development as a person, too.

In a paper released this month, the Harvard Family Research Project identifies what makes these partnerships work.

"Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success," focuses on seven key elements:


  1. A shared vision of learning,

  2. Shared leadership and governance,

  3. Complementary partnerships,

  4. Effective communications,

  5. Regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress,

  6. Family engagement, and

  7. Collaborative staffing models.

Written by Erin Harris and Shani Wilkes, the 14-page publication highlights the challenges of such partnerships, and sheds a spotlight on the work of Elev8, a community schools initiative in several locations across the country. The co-authors use examples from Elev8 to show what effective partnerships look like in practice.

A list of resources is available in the paper.

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