Practical Recommendations to Help Start and Sustain Effective Partnerships
Churches that want to support and partner with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) should seek to understand and respect BPS district- wide policies and objectives. They can learn from many existing local models of BPS-church partnerships and do not have to “re-invent the wheel” when forming such partnerships. The BPS’ Office of Engagement serves to cultivate relationships and acts as an intermediary that supports best practices in forming partnerships, such as assessing partner resources or school needs for matching purposes and the use of a Memorandum of Understanding. BPS operates by the Guiding Principles of Authentic Community Engagement to engage all stakeholders in the work with BPS schools and families. Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Boston Education Collaborative (BEC) is collaborating with BPS to grow and support community/faith-based partnerships with schools.
Suggested Steps for a Church to Partner with a Public School (Order can be adjusted)
- Establish a team of no more than five people serious about applying Christian Community Development Association’s philosophy to create partnerships between churches and public schools.
- Team works with Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Boston Education Collaborative (BEC) to identify at least one Ambassador* and draft a plan of action to share with Lead Pastor, using BEC tools.
- Ambassador wins Lead Pastor’s heart to partner with a school, and with his/her input, the team makes additions/modifications to the draft action plan.
- Team brings back Lead Pastor’s commitment to a partnership and the updated action plan to the BEC in order to plot next steps.
*The ambassador is someone who knows the culture of the church and is passionate about seeing the school/church partnership happen. S/he is focused on doing things for the long haul and will continue to investigate and research in spite of setbacks. They care about the church and want to advance the life of the church.