NLC Community Engagement Guide
The Ministry of Education acknowledges the Coalition for Community Schools for permitting the adaptation of their Community and Family Engagement Guide.
Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to acknowledge our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner, and creator of this place. To be welcome, even if we are strangers. As if we came to the right place and are affirmed for that choice.
What is Community Engagement?
Community engagement is a process in which schools and communities come together to collaborate. It is about communicating and partnering with parents, neighbours, businesses, service organizations, cultural associations and government. Its purpose is to bring schools additional resources, expertise and supports that will help students achieve high standards and strengthen families and communities. In addition, community engagement offers partners a chance to provide programs and services right at the heart of their communities and allows communities greater access to and maximization of school space.
Some of the benefits of community engagement are:
- stronger social networks between schools and communities
- better availability of sports, arts and other activities
- more community involvement in school activities and young people’s learning
- new and creative learning environments
- financial savings by sharing costs
- improved school security and reduced vandalism
In British Columbia, schools and districts are engaging in the development of Neighbourhood Learning Centres. Every school and every district is at a different starting point. This guide has been developed to support school leaders to frame their thinking and action in relation to community engagement through the development of Neighbourhood Learning Centres. The guide is organized around five keys that are critical thinking and planning points in the community engagement process. What follows are the keys, and how each can be used.