Community Partnerships

  • Our core business is learning and teaching. We are charged with providing each child in our school system with a sound basic education. We welcome parent and community involvement to contribute to this important work and shared responsibility of preparing students for the future.

    Following the model proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, partnerships with public and private organizations should align to support a district's reform strategy. The results must include both educational outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit 3rd grade reading at grade level, and students graduate college- and career-ready) and family and community results (e.g., students demonstrate social-emotional competencies, students are healthy, students feel safe at school and in their communities, students demonstrate career readiness skills through internship and summer job opportunities).

    These procedures are established to facilitate and assist in the coordination of collaborative efforts between community agencies and WCPSS. While we welcome quality collaborative efforts, the primary purpose of these procedures is to ensure that efforts align with the WCPSS core business of learning and teaching.

    • BE SURE TO READ THE COMPLETE SET OF PROCEDURES
    • THE CONFIDENTIAL NATURE OF STUDENT RECORDS MUST BE OBSERVED AT ALL TIMES
    • Organizations interested in using school facilities or fields should contact WCPSS Community Schools directly
    How is collaboration defined?
    Collaboration is defined as working together willingly for a shared goal or purpose. In this instance, WCPSS's primary goal is to “significantly increase achievement for all students by providing a world-class education that equips students with the knowledge and expertise to become successful, productive citizens.” For WCPSS to enter into a community collaboration, there must be a clear understanding of how the collaboration would promote the WCPSS primary goal.

    With whom does initial contact occur?
    Submitting the WCPSS Application for Collaboration should be the first contact with school system staff; rather than directly with school staff, principals, or individual staff members. If you have questions about the process, feel free to contact us at: collaborate@wcpss.net.

    What are the steps in creating an application packet?
    • Consider your organization's mission and goals. Do they align with those of WCPSS stated above? You may also wish to visit the WCPSS website to learn more about the district.
    • Should you determine your goals align with WCPSS' focus on learning and teaching, complete the electronic application form.
    Who reviews applications?
    Collaboration applications are forwarded to the respective WCPSS Chief Officer, Area or Assistant Superintendent within which the purview for proposed activities resides. In instances where the proposed activities cross areas or there are significant implications for the district, Collaborate applications will be reviewed by the entire Superintendent's Leadership Team.

    What is the basis for decisions?
    Proposals that detail a coherent and sustainable partnership that supports the WCPSS core business of teaching and learning are the most likely proposals to be approved. The following are necessary but not always sufficient conditions for approval of applications.
    • A complete application must be submitted. Download the application here.
    • The collaboration goals should have high value and address a need for a particular school or to the school system as a whole.
    • The collaboration should be compatible with WCPSS policy and sound educational practices.
    • The relative costs in time and resources should be less than the benefit to the school system.
    • The design and implementation of the project should be sound and acceptable to WCPSS.
    • The originator of the request should have the status and qualifications necessary to commit their agency to collaboration with WCPSS.
    What collaborations are not approved?
    Regardless of whether the proposal meets the criteria above, the following projects will not be approved:
    • Collaborations which violate WCPSS policy or procedures.
    • Collaborations which do not support teaching and learning or result in a loss of instructional time.
    • Collaborations that request personal information about students or their families.
    • Collaborations that involve student or family services for fee.
    • Collaborations that do not include active parental consent.
    Who makes the decision?
    Decisions regarding Collaborate applications will reside with the respective WCPSS Chief Officer, Area or Assistant Superintendent assigned to review the proposal. In some instances, where the proposed activities cross areas or the implications for the district are significant, the Superintendent's Leadership Team will make the final determination.
    • If the application is approved or denied, the committee will notify the applicant in writing via email.
    • If it appears that the collaboration could be approved with minimal changes, the applicant may be advised to reapply.
    What happens after committee approval?
    • If the collaboration is administratively approved, the community agency is notified and must provide a copy of the approval letter to the school principals or departments involved.
    • Administrative approval does not constitute blanket approval for the collaboration to be conducted in any specific school. Community agencies must obtain the approval from principals and others involved prior to project implementation.
    • Once participants have been determined, the community agency will prepare and submit a proposed Memorandum of Understanding to the respective WCPSS department. Once that MOU has been approved by the agency and WCPSS, implementation may begin.
    • Activities must be scheduled far enough in advance to allow for adequate planning at the schools involved.
    • The community agency will provide schools with sufficient copies of the parental consent form, if it is required. At least two copies of the form per student should be maintained as records. The principal or her/his designee will be responsible for disseminating forms to the students and obtaining parental consent; one form will be placed in the student's file and another one maintained by the community agency.
    What are the requirements while the collaboration is active?
    • Confidentiality of student records must be observed, and the privacy and rights of the individuals and schools must be respected. Adequate safeguards should be in place to protect individual rights as provided by FERPA (Family Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
    • Community agencies who intend to carry out programs at a school site must provide proof of a background check and sexual offender registry check per the Lundsford Act for all staff. In addition, WCPSS may elect to conduct additional criminal records checks at the district's expense. In planning a collaboration timeline please allow for the completion of this process.
    • While conducting programs in schools, individuals should abide by WCPSS standards of professional conduct and dress. Failure to do so will be sufficient cause for termination of the collaboration.
    • Any violation of approved collaboration noted by teachers or other participants should be reported to the school principal. The principal should then, if indicated, discuss such infractions with the Collaboration Review Committee.
    • Community partners will submit annual or final summaries of results by email to collaborate@wcpss.net.

Apply to become a partner

Proposals that detail a coherent and sustainable partnership that supports our core business of teaching and learning are the most likely proposals to be approved. Download the application here.