Partnership Effectiveness

  • What is an Effective School-Community Partnership?

    An effective School-Community partnership is an intentional collaboration between schools and service providers to provide learning opportunities and supports that positively impact holistic outcomes for students, families, and schools.

    There are seven Elements of Effective School-Community Partnerships in the Boston Public Schools:


    Under each element, there are indicators – a total of 23 –for building and maintaining effective partnerships. The definitions of each indicator are below.



    Strategic Alignment

    Principal engages the voice of the school community (students, educators, families, and partners) to develop the vision for how the school hopes to best support students; the vision is communicated externally and drives partnership practice.                                                                                                          

    Comprehensive process exists for using data on student, school and community needs to identify partner services needed.

    Rigorous selection process is in place to ensure new services are high quality, modeled on evidenced-based research, and aligned with school needs.

    Coordinated Services

    Process exists to ensure alignment both across partners and between partners and the school.

    System exists to ensure partner services are known to staff and well integrated into the school.

    Process exists to ensure school staff and partners are able to refer students to the services that can best meet their individual needs.

    Distributive Leadership

    The school leader delegates authority around partnerships to others as appropriate, including school point of contacts identified for each partner.

    School staff and partners share ownership for decision-making to strengthen inclusive and informed choices regarding partnerships.

    Shared Accountability

    Agreements are in place that provide a scope of service and clearly defined roles and expectations for the school and partners.

    The school and partners are accountable to achieve shared, mutually set goals.

    Resources are allocated appropriately to ensure the school and partners achieve their shared goals.

    Agreements are in place that provide scope of service and clearly defined roles, expectations, and shared accountability.

    Results Driven

    School and partners use data to continuously evaluate achievement of, or progress towards, shared, mutually set goals.

    A process exists to analyze the link between student needs and the impact of the services provided by partners.                                      

    A process exists to enable partners to continuously improve using student data and professional development feedback.                  

    Effective Communication

    There are formal meetings throughout the school year during which the school and partners regularly talk about the overall state of the partnership.

    Communication between school and partners is based on transparency and trust.

    Communication is well facilitated between partners and all relevant stakeholders at the school, including families.

    Two-way communication and information sharing between school and partners, and among partners, are in place. School/partner accomplishments are celebrated as a community.


    School and partners utilize blended funding sources, including non-traditional or alternative sources.

    Strong financial management and planning exists to support partnerships in the school.

    Information about the impact and value of partnerships and partner services are shared with key stakeholders and funders.

    Capacity exists to meet student needs if partnership resources decrease.

    Process is in place to ensure sustainability of partnerships during periods of transition.

    For more information on partnership effectiveness in Boston Public Schools, please read the Report on the Strength of Partnership Effectiveness: School XYZ.