School Boards and Community Engagment

By Hildy Gottlieb

Is your school district a catalyst for making your community an extraordinary place to live? As leaders in your community’s education system, you would like to think the answer is yes. Schools are about the future. Schools build strong foundations upon which to build strong communities. Schools can make or break a community.

So then, as a catalyst for community excellence, how are you doing? If you were being graded not on graduation rates and test scores, but on how exceptional a place your community is to live, what grade would you receive?

Is your community a healthy, resilient, vibrant place? A safe place? A place where children grow up knowing they are nurtured and loved? A place where people of all ages feel safe? Is your community a place where a vibrant spirit of artistic and intellectual curiosity is evident everywhere? Where community involvement is a given? A place where issues are discussed with both passion and wisdom, where the citizenry is literate and well-informed?

Or does your community continue to struggle with the issues we have somehow convinced ourselves are “normal”—poverty, crime, teen pregnancy, drug use, and the longing for stability, for inspiration, for encouragement?

Now let’s ask that opening question again. Is your school district a catalyst for making your community an extraordinary place to live? If not, would you like it to be? And if so, what would that take?

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