Chapter 3: Take an Action Team Approach
This chapter addresses 12 common questions on how to organize an effective Action Team for Partnerships (ATP). Team members—principals, teachers, parents, other school staff, and community members—play important roles and share leadership for planning, implementing, and evaluating partnership programs. Several tools and guidelines are included to help develop strong and successful teams. The ATP is the main structure that determines the success and continuous progress of a school-based partnership program.
The CD includes the following information and tools from Chapter 3.
Ten Steps to Success: School-Based Programs of School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Handbook p. 105
Review 10 basic steps for creating a successful program of school, family, and community partnerships in any elementary, middle, or high school. Success starts with an ATP. The team must set goals for partnerships, write and implement annual plans, conduct thoughtful evaluations, celebrate progress, and continue improving part- nerships from year to year. District leaders should facilitate these 10 steps in all schools.
Checklist: Are You Ready?
Handbook p. 106
Use this checklist to help a school’s ATP initiate a program of school, family, and community partnerships.
Who Are the Members of the Action Team for Partnerships?
Handbook pp. 107–108
Compile a directory of team members with mail and e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Note the skills and talents that each member brings to the team. List the ATP chair or co-chairs and main subcommittees and their leaders for the school year. Provide paper or electronic copies of this list each year to all team members to facil- itate communication. Also, give a copy to the district’s facilitator for partnerships who assists the school.
First ATP Meeting of the School Year
Handbook p. 109
Start the year with a well-planned agenda for the first meeting of the full ATP. The chair or co-chairs of the ATP can use the list of suggested topics to set an agenda to discuss how leadership will be shared, how committees will be organized, how team members will communicate, when the team will meet, what the One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships includes, and/or what the full team and committees will do to implement activities that are scheduled in the next month.
Communication Ground Rules
Handbook p. 110
Decide—together—how members of the ATP will communicate with one another. Identify rules for interactions at meetings and at other times to foster teamwork and team spirit.
What Do Successful Action Teams for Partnerships Do?
Handbook p. 111
Discuss the qualities that help an ATP succeed in leading the school’s partnership program. Good teams con- duct well-organized team meetings, solve problems, and improve outreach to all families and goal-linked engagement activities in their plans from year to year. Good team members communicate with each other and with other groups to strengthen the partnership climate at the school.
Annual Review of Team Processes
Handbook p. 112
Assess the quality of teamwork midyear or at the end of each school year by rating 18 team processes. ATP members should discuss how they can become even more effective in the future. See Chapter 9 for other tools to evaluate the quality of the school’s partnership program and practices.