A Letter to School Trustees
As a Board member at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland, Philip Bradley recently filed a report after completion of study made possible with a New Zealand School Trustees association (NZSTA) study scholarship. His chosen area of study was School Community Engagement.
He began in early 2018 by participating in online study with Dr Karen Mapp of Harvard University, in a course titled, “Introduction to Family Engagement in Education” - a programme he highly recommends.
Then through travel to the United States he participated in a two day leadership intensive with Dr Joyce Epstein at the National Network of Partnership Schools Leadership Institute, John Hopkins University School of Education in Baltimore.
Visiting Cincinnati, he meet with practitioners of Peter Block’s “A Small Group” model for civic engagement who were involved in its practical application within local public high schools. Shortly after he attended a presentation on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), which demonstrated that local assets (people, physical assets etc.) and utilising individual strengths are key to ensure sustainable community development.
Travelling next to Boston, Mr Bradley attended the 75th ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Empower 18 Conference where he followed a community engagement strand over a three-day period.
After submitting his formal report, Mr Bradley chose to compose an informally styled “Letter to Trustees” which he initially distributed to secondary schools who responded with interest and questions prior to his visit to the United States. In it he boils down his experience to a few essential points believing that, “like a letter, the answer for community engagement is personal, very human and close at hand.”
He also says plainly “there are already enough programmes, research papers and organisations available to you to help you relate and engage your wider school community with a view to improving student achievement. The issues are motivation, prioritisation and available time. However, like a gym membership or weight-loss programme, pick one and stick with it.”
Mr Bradley is now actively seeking to connect and equip school leaders who are motivated to become ‘community builders’. Download the 'letter' here and make contact below.
Join others wanting to be school community builders.
Start by making contact with Philip...
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