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The Roles of Community School LEAs in Collaborative Leadership

LEA’s can increase the access and coordination of resources by removing barriers that allow for meaningful partnerships to be established in ways that increase resources for whole child support. By operationalizing decision-making bodies such as steering committees and codifying shared commitments such as bylaws and memorandums of understandings, LEA’s can set the foundation for collaborative leadership that is sustained over time. LEA’s can develop the infrastructure necessary for increased alignment, cohesion and practices of deep listening that center the voices of students, families and educators.

Create an LEA Steering Committee - A Step by Step Process

Step 1

Establish a policy that establishes a Community School Steering Committee.

Step 2

Ensure the membership of the steering committee is democratically built and includes all interest-holders including students, caregivers, educators and community partners that will help you see the whole system.

Step 3

Learn together about community school best practices and mindset shifts

Step 4

Co-create a vision for the steering committee and the overall community school strategy.

  • Ensure your vision is grounded in the listening of the broader community

Step 5

Determine the changes needed in your district to make the vision a reality

Step 6

Establish agreements and possible autonomies between schools and LEA’s that outline greater areas of decision-making to improve impact of the community school strategy. See example flexibilities in the chart below.

Step 7

Develop processes for team reflection and assessment of impact. Engage in a process of continuous improvement

Create a Collective Impact Partnership Committee

In addition to establishing steering committees that are representative of various interest-holders, LEA’s create a Collective Impact Partnership that convenes various community partnerships that focus on improving resources and to streamline collaborative efforts. The committee utilizes data to assess efforts and improve outcomes that benefit students and the wellbeing of the community.

Areas of Autonomies

Steering committees determine potential areas of site autonomies to improve the impact and ownership of the community school strategy. In schools with distributed models, autonomies are determined and agreed upon by schools and their LEA’s to help improve student learning. School autonomies can create the foundation for innovative programs that best meet the needs of diverse student populations.

Example autonomies for shared decision-making can be seen to the right.

Program & Policies

  • School-Level Policies
  • Learning Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Determining Assets
  • Broadening Assessment


  • Selecting Colleagues
  • Selecting Leaders
  • Evaluation Processes
  • Transferring or Termination of Colleagues
  • Work Agreements


  • Budget
  • Compensation
  • Work Hours
  • School Schedules
  • Staffing
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