Research finds associations between a sense of belonging and workplace performance, well-being and learning.
Too often "community engagement" is one-way and superficial, with no opportunities to really hear or be heard. In 2023, GLISI taught not only technical skills such as root cause analysis, leading impact checks and performance measurement skills, but also adaptive leadership skills, such as developing high-performing teams, cultivating trustworthiness, leading toward equity and mastering change leadership. Educators are asked to teach and lead in a climate where adaptive skills are critical to enlisting the broader community as full partners in the work of developing the knowledge, skills and talents of young people.
In addition to developing adaptive leadership skills across our partnerships this year, we also designed community-forward partnerships in Sumter County, Social Circle City Schools and Clarke County School District where robust community partnership and true co-construction of a vision for teaching and learning were central to our partnership aspirations and goals.
Listen. Listen to what we ask for. It's usually in good favor to improve the quality of life at our school. Actually create action based in what people need.
- Student, Strategic Plan participant
My leadership practice has changed. Our team is now consistently considering how what we do in the community impacts the school system, teachers, students and families. We are making it a practice to stay connected with school leadership so they are aware of what we are implementing that could indirectly impact the lives of staff, students and families.
- Government Leader, BCLS Participant
My experience at GLISI highlights the need for intentional, structured improvement processes within the safety of open, supportive relationships between school and district leaders. If trust is low, school leaders avoid deep conversations around problems of practice. If relationships are strong but processes are weak, teams may never get to the root causes. The BCLS process creates space for both.
- District Leader, BCLS Participant
The most important takeaway I had is that it is helpful to hear from other schools and districts. If our goal is to help students reach their potential, then working together to facilitate this change across the state rather than merely seeing each other as competition will provide an avenue to greater collaboration.
- Instructional Coach, BCLS Participant
I valued the opportunity to express the issues that I witness in the current workforce while also viewing the process through the eyes of a current parent. Focusing on the goal of having graduates ready for whatever comes next in life after high school was important. Let's not set our kids up for failure when we can do things differently with a better outcome.