Partners in Education:
Quick Start Guide for School District Leaders
This is a step-by-step guide on the best practices for creating, amplifying, and maintaining partnerships with organizations.
Step #1: Identify School or Department Needs
Discuss your school or department needs with staff and the PTA, if applicable. Be clear about what you want to achieve and the sustainability of the activity. For ideas, see Partnership Involvement Ideas on the reverse side of this guide.
Step #2: Identify Potential Business and Community Partners
Define what you want in a partner and brainstorm possibilities. What are the businesses, nonprofits, city groups, government, etc. close or relevant to your school or department? Where do your school parents work? What about employee spouses? Ask team members and colleagues for suggestions.
Step #3: Make Contact
Write, call, or stop by the potential partner location. Phone calls are more effective than letters and visits are more effective than either calls or letters. Schedule a meeting to discuss a potential partnership.
Step #4: Complete the Partner Agreement Form
Determine who should be included in partnership planning activities. The team should have representatives from both the partner and your school or department. Try to include members who will champion and support activities. Collaborative planning is essential from the beginning of a partnership. Involvement by key team members will minimize misunderstandings and problems during the implementation phase of your plan. Complete the Partner Agreement Form.
Step #5: Track the Relationship and Keep it Healthy
Maintain regular contact with your partner and ensure that projects are on time and on target. Track the value of cash, and in‐kind (materials, value of services, or merchandise) donations. If changes need to be made to the agreement, mutually agree to revise the agreement. Remember to thank your partner on a regular basis. Ask your partner how they would like to be recognized. Consider nominating your partner for the annual district recognition award. For other ideas, see School Support Ideas on the reverse side of this guide.
Step #6: Review and Evaluate Partnership Annually
On an annual basis meet to review progress, successes, challenges, and status of the partnership. Complete a new Partner Agreement Form, if applicable.