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:
- A shared vision of learning,
- Shared leadership and governance,
- Complementary partnerships,
- Effective communications,
- Regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress,
- Family engagement, and
- 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.