for Education

Community Engagement

Engaging with the community to achieve shared goals

Executive Summary

Oshkosh Area School District / Oshkosh, WI
Suburban / K-12
Students: 10,000
Staff: 1,400

Finding common ground for the community and district

Building a shared plan and staying accountable

Partnering with families to prioritize equity of resources

Responding to the needs of businesses, nonprofits and organizations

Making community engagement a priority

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    Key Takeaways

    • Proactively soliciting input from community members and organizations is essential to establishing and accomplishing shared goals.
    • With shared goals, the district and community can create a plan, hold themselves accountable, and therefore accomplish more.
    • When schools regularly share progress and pitfalls with the community, they build trust with community members and can work together to identify and overcome roadblocks.
    • Schools need to partner with families, local organizations and businesses to secure buy-in, leverage new resources and maximize their positive impact on the entire community and its economy.
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    Lessons Learned

    • Be sure to engage with a broad set of stakeholders, not just a few. Listen to all stakeholders and repeat back to them what you heard so that they feel understood and you get the most accurate information.
    • To build trust, start small and get early wins. Make two or three quick changes within your existing budget to show the community you’re ready to put their goals into action. Once you’ve demonstrated that you’re ready to deliver, the community will give you the resources you need for future projects.
    • Activities that don’t relate to your agreed-upon goals will come up, but don’t get sidetracked. Stick to your plan and stay accountable through ongoing communication. Share progress early and often.