A District Transitions Planning Guide

Strategic Partnerships

This section describes strategic partnerships, shares inspiring strategic partnership stories (bright spot) and offers selected resources to support strategic partnerships.

What are Strategic Partnerships? It means strengthening and expanding partnerships between the district, school and community to provide for a full range of resources and supports to address barriers to attendance. Engage outside partners that can support building relationships and engaging students and families in identifying and addressing attendance barriers.

Strategic partnerships for the 2020-2021 school year should expand site-level capacity to address basic needs such as food, physical and behavioral health, along with internet access and associated technology. Partners can also provide economic support, housing needs and additional opportunities for engagement and enrichment.

At the district level, a wide variety of formal and informal partnerships will be needed. Collaborative work with community-based nonprofits, grassroots organizations, faith leaders and business leaders can help you create a multi-tiered system of supports for students and families that is sufficient to address the many challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Attention to Equity

District leaders have the power to promote equity through their strategic partnerships by prioritizing support for schools with the highest disparities, and partnering with grassroots organizations that have relationships and connections with students and families in the schools.

Bright Spot
  • United Way of Greater Kansas City hosted a virtual gathering of leaders from schools, non-profits and other community groups that revealed some of the thinking — and rethinking — under way in the rapidly changing education reality during Covid-19. Read a summary.

  • Mentor E-Mentoring Toolkit: MENTOR’s e-mentoring resource offers best practices for e-mentoring programs

  • Many school districts use a community schools strategy to pull together partners to support students and families. For example, community schools in New York City leveraged and expanded their partnerships to provide resources during school closures.