How Will You Evaluate and Sustain Your New Partnership?
This checklist can be used to manage the partnership process, as described throughout the Toolkit.Download a copy of the Partnership Checklist here.
Ongoing Communications with Partners
Think about different ways in which you can communicate with your partners.
- If you have a lot of partner organizations at your school, consider using a monthly or quarterly email blast or newsletter to keep all of your partners updated about calendar changes and news all at once.
- Make sure to talk to your partners when you see them in the building, ask them if they need anything and how things are going, and thank them for their help.
- Reach out to individual partners with concerns or if you are pleased with their work.
- Hold quarterly, biannual, or annual partnership meetings, where the key contacts from each of your primary partners gather to discuss shared priorities and progress towards goals. Partners will appreciate getting to know who else is working with the same students or on the same focus areas.
Celebrating Your PartnersPartners, like other stakeholder groups, need to know that they are appreciated and that their voice is being heard. Consider holding an appreciation event for your partners – provide them with breakfast or dinner (especially for after-school partners). You can give out awards and share the progress of each partnership, while encouraging your partners to get to know each other and the work that they are doing within your school.
There are plenty of cost-free ways to show your partners that you care.
- Shout-outs on the morning announcements
- Highlights on a bulletin board or in a newsletter to families
- Notes on social media or on the school website
Measuring Progress on Planned GoalsAfter you and your partner have completed the planning worksheet to guide your shared goals and expectations, checking in to assess progress is much easier! The back side of this sheet has questions to guide your check-in conversations, including if changes have been made to any provided services or identified contacts and whether or not the partnership is meeting the needs of the school and partner.
Having these honest conversations will allow you to work with your partner to improve the relationship and the services provided to your students and families. If one party’s needs are not being met, it is critical to discuss it and address it before the end of the school year.
Determining Whether or Not to Renew a Partnership
Sometimes partnerships do not work out as hoped. After you and your partner have evaluated progress and outcomes based on your joint action plan, it is time to decide whether or not that partnership is meeting your school’s needs. If not, it may be time to end the partnership.
Use the following questions to help you think through whether or not this action is necessary.
- Is the work of this partnership in alignment with the action plan you developed?
- Are you seeing results from working with this person or group?
- If so, are you and your school community happy with the results of the partnership?
- Do you feel that the partnership will improve if given additional time?
- Are the costs or “asks” from this partner reasonable for your school’s budget and capacity?
- Is this person or organization the only one who can provide these services?
If you answered “no” to more than one of these questions, then it may be time to talk to your partner.
It can be intimidating to have a difficult conversation with a partner, but sometimes those conversations just need to happen! If you and your partner have communicated clearly and honestly throughout the year, then hopefully this conversation will not come as a surprise to either party. Be open, honest, and willing to compromise. If they want to try to improve, consider if this will work for your school.
The Partnerships Toolkit is a product of the Engagement Office. If you have additional questions, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (443) 984-2000. You will reach the City Schools Call Center, so ask to be connected to the Engagement Office.