RECOMMENDATION 2: Partners should set the initial vision and goals together, with a focus on relationship-building and trust
Once partners have ascertained and understood district needs, they must ensure from the start that the partnership is focused on addressing them. This requires all partners to jointly establish a shared vision and goals for the partnership. Partners must both focus on creating these, but also on building relationships and trust among stakeholders on both sides.
Steps You Can Take
- Have honest conversations about where you’ve been. In order to build a strong partnership for the future, you need to be honest about your past. Acknowledge your successes and challenges and move forward together.
- Get clear on each other’s needs and develop a joint student-centered vision. In early conversations, strong partners make sure to identify their needs and vision to ensure commonality and alignment across organizations.
- Set (or reset) expectations for how you’ll work together and goals you’ll pursue. Strong partners discuss expectations and goals for work together upfront, so all parties know what to anticipate. It might feel uncomfortable to get this clear at the start, but these conversations can pay dividends in the long run.
- Build a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and revisit, as appropriate. While different partners have different views on MOUs, outlining expectations and non-negotiables in writing can build a strong foundation for a partnership.