Every community has a unique story to tell. Many things contribute to the success of a community, but research shows that the key is a high-quality education system. This Community Profile shares data about how students in your community are progressing along their educational path. The full story of your community cannot be told by numbers alone – it must also be told through the stories and experiences of all the people who live there. This profile is meant to be a guide to help you and your neighbors explore how to pave the path to a larger life through education.
The power to transform your community is in your hands. All it takes is one. One person to begin the conversation. One person stepping forward to change the future of a community.
It is our expectation that robust, well planned community engagement of this nature can result in:
- Coordinated community response to increase student success.
- Greater public understanding of education issues and local priorities.
- Greater community commitment to equitable educational outcomes.
- Greater community ownership and investment in public schools.
- A common vision and shared commitment to pursue agreed upon action steps.
- Greater accountability for public funds.
Structured community conversations provide the opportunity for participants to discuss and weigh in on issues that matter to you and your community. When done well, the process can result in greater clarity about the issues at hand and potential solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Some practical considerations when designing community conversations about your Community Profile might include:
- Establishing an Organizational Team to meet and develop initial plans for your first Community Conversation session.
- As you plan, you and your team should spend time thinking about your expectations for the experience. What would a successful Community Conversation look like for you? What do you want your participants to know and do as a result of the Conversation? Our hope would be that each community will establish one viable action step as a result of your Conversation. What that step is will be up to you and your participants to decide together.
- Being inclusive when recruiting participants. Actively recruiting participants who reflect the community’s diversity in ethnicity, culture, perspectives, gender, and age results in a richer dialogue.
- Identifying a meeting date, time, and location that will allow for the generation of new ideas and spirited debate about issues highlighted by the Community Profile.
- Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for participants, including the designation of a facilitator and a recorder who will take notes for the group.
Engaging Community Voices: