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Engaging Your Community from the Roots Up: The 6 Root Causes of Effective Community Engagement

Vector graphic of a tree with diverse leaders as its leaves. The roots, trunk, and branches represent the strong foundation and interconnectedness of the leadership, while the leaves symbolize the collective decision-making and shared responsibilities.

Target Audience

District & School Administrators, Educators

Estimated Duration

45 Minutes

How can you GROW highly impactful community engagement in your school or district? Start with the ROOTS! Get to the root of effective community engagement by understanding the six essential components of effective community engagement and then examine where your school or district is in relation to these “Essential Roots”. This module will conclude by supporting you in designing a personalized plan to grow strong roots with your families, students, staff, and community partners. This module utilizes the work of the Californians for Justice’s Defend and Mend Coalition.

Community engagement is a central principle in California’s school funding system and is essential for effective decision-making at the school and district levels. In California, a collaborative study revealed six components of ineffective community engagement. The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) expanded on the study identifying six effective components, called The Six Essential Roots. This module will allow you to learn about the evidence-based components of effective community engagement and provide a user-friendly tool for assessing progress and identifying growth areas.

Key Outcomes

Understanding the root causes of effective and equitable community engagement in the LCAP and other decision-making processes will help you recognize and acknowledge areas of success and identify growth areas in your contexts. You will also identify strategies for improvement and develop a path toward firmly-rooted community engagement.

Our key outcomes for this session include:

  • Assess your community partner engagement efforts
  • Identify activities, strategies, and protocols to enhance the effectiveness of your education partner engagement leading to improved outcomes for all students, particularly low-performing and historically marginalized populations.

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • The Defend and Mend Coalition’s history and the “Root Cause Analysis of Student and Family Engagement”
  • Evidence-based components of effective education partner/community engagement
  • How the Six Essential Roots apply across all strategic planning efforts, especially the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), School Plan (SPSA), and Community Schools

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